What could happen if Trump becomes first president to be impeached twice

US News

Donald Trump’s second impeachment could get rolling as soon as Monday, with House Democrats indicating they will introduce the relevant articles following the riots at the US Capitol.

While this will happen only nine days before the inauguration of Joe Biden, legal experts and legislators alike believe there is still time – and a point – to make the 45th president the first to be impeached twice.

But the clock is certainly ticking – fast enough to mean it would prove tough to squeeze in the Senate vote that would be needed to remove Mr Trump from office.

So what will happen if he is impeached for a second time? Sky News answers the key questions.

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How does impeachment work?

Impeachment starts with a vote in the House of Representatives on the articles of impeachment – basically a list of charges against the president.

If the vote passes with a simple majority (50% + 1), then the president has been impeached and is then subject to a trial in the Senate.

After the trial, the Senate votes on whether to convict and remove the president from office.

This vote requires a two-thirds majority to strip the impeached of the presidency. Given the Republicans controlled the Senate at the time of Mr Trump’s first impeachment, he comfortably managed to stay in power.

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What articles could he be impeached with?

The exact wording of the articles is not yet known, but members of the House of Representatives have been circulating copies that charge Mr Trump with “inciting violence against the government of the United States”.

This comes following the deadly riots at that took place at the Capitol in Washington DC on Wednesday following a speech by Mr Trump to his supporters.

His call to the Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger is also mentioned, in which the president asked the official to “find” more than 11,000 votes in order to overturn President-elect Biden’s victory in the state.

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Why are Democrats impeaching him now?

There were calls for Mr Trump to be removed using the 25th amendment to the constitution, but this required the agreement of Vice President Mike Pence and the president’s cabinet – something which has not materialised.

This was done because many Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, considered Mr Trump’s actions so egregious that he needed to be removed immediately.

Impeachment is the next best option in their eyes.

Democrat representative Ilhan Omar says the process is important to set a precedent.

“It’s important to impeach & convict this president even if he has [a] few days left in office,” she tweeted.

“It will set a precedent. We must make it clear that no president can lead an insurrection against the US government.

“What we do today will matter for the rest of this nation’s history.”

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Could Trump be stopped from running for president in 2024?

The Senate has the ability to bar people from running for office enshrined in the constitution.

Were senators to vote to remove someone from office, they can also vote to ban the impeached person from ever running for an elected post again. This vote only requires a 50% + 1 majority.

It has been used before in the cases of judges Robert Archbald and West H Humphreys – it is not only presidents who can be impeached.

But It is less certain what would happen if Mr Trump were convicted after he has already left office.

Paul Campos, law professor at the University of Colorado, thinks the Senate would be empowered to vote only on future disqualification.

He added that this scenario would be more likely if the president’s trial is still pending on 20 January, when he finishes his term and Joe Biden is inaugurated.

Trump is said to be considering running for the White House again in 2024 Pic: @realDonaldTrump
Image:
Trump may be barred from ever running for office again – something that he has hinted at doing

Can he pardon himself?

There has been a lot of talk about who Mr Trump has pardoned and who else he could pardon.

But impeachment is something he cannot absolve – not only is it not a criminal proceeding, but the constitution specifically prohibits it.

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Will he keep Secret Service protection?

You are not likely to hear him say it, but Mr Trump has Barack Obama to thank for making sure he has Secret Service protection for the rest of his life.

Mr Trump’s predecessor in the Oval Office signed into law an amendment that ensures lifetime protection for all former leaders of the US.

It does not exclude former rulers for any reason, so it is safe to assume that Mr Trump will still get the protection provided by the US government should he want it.

Will he keep his benefits?

When a president leaves office, they are entitled to a range of benefits at the expense of the taxpayer – including a pension thought to be about $200,000 a year, an annual $1m travel stipend, and money for staff.

However, it is stated in the 1958 Former Presidents Act that these perks are not available for anyone removed from office after being impeached.

So whether Mr Trump is convicted and removed by the Senate – even after he leaves – could have substantial ramifications for him politically and financially.

Could he be prosecuted for his role in the US Capitol riots?

As impeachment is not a legal proceeding, there is no chance of double jeopardy – meaning Mr Trump could still be prosecuted for the same acts that saw him impeached.

The constitution states: “The Party convicted [of impeachment] shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.”

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Could he be convicted and removed even after leaving the White House?

These are uncharted waters, and not something explicitly spelled out in law or the constitution.

A Civil War era general called William Belknap, when serving as secretary of war, was impeached by the House even after he resigned from his cabinet post.

His case was sent to the Senate but he was acquitted, so there’s no precedent when it comes to conviction.

Michael J Gerhardt, professor of constitutional law at the University of North Carolina writes: “The special penalties upon conviction in impeachment are designed to protect the republic from the very type of people who have abused public office in such a grave manner that they should never have the opportunity to be entrusted with public power again.”

He adds: “It would make no sense for former officials, or ones who step down just in time, to escape that remedial mechanism.

“It should accordingly go without saying that if an impeachment begins when an individual is in office, the process may surely continue after they resign or otherwise depart.”

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Will he be impeached and removed?

The congressional calculus will be uncertain until a vote is held, but it seems likely Mr Trump will be the first president to get impeached twice.

Democrats retained control of the House of Representatives in November, and some Republicans have said they are considering crossing the aisle to push the articles to the Senate in even greater numbers.

The Senate is a different matter,.

While Mr Trump is in office, his Republican party holds the majority.

But once Mr Biden takes his seat in the Oval Office, the Senate will pass into the control of the Democrats thanks to the dramatic wins in Georgia.

They only have the slimmest of majorities though, not enough to win an impeachment vote by themselves, and the number of Republicans willing to turn on Mr Trump is still an unknown quantity.

With a two-thirds majority needed, a lot of Republicans would need to change sides in order to convict the president.

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17 Comments

  1. Nancy pelose could give a shit about America. She knows antifa were the ones who lead the charge into the building that her capital police let them in that’s why.

  2. Nancy pelose could give a shit about America. She knows antifa were the ones who lead the charge into the building that her capital police let them in that’s why.and screw you.

  3. How can people be so blind? Trump was vindicated of their first impeachment witch hunt…therefore, it was as if it never happened!!! He was NEVER impeached…doesn’t matter how you cut it…it was as if it never happened because it was without merit!!! WHY CAN’T PEOPLE SEE THAT????? Now, Biden and Pelosi and Harris are all guilty of treason…WHY CAN’T PEOPLE SEE THAT??? COMMON SENSE, FOLKS!!!

      1. They claim 72 to 74 million people voted for President Trump. It’s more likely around 80 to 85 + million. First they insult each and every one of us by voter fraud so obvious that a blind man could see it. Second, they are attempting to impeach the President on allegations that wouldn’t even warrant an arrest of an average individual. Third, they are threatening to arrest the President after he leaves office for want I don’t have a clue and finally, there is chatter of forced vaccinations, “punishing” Trump supporters???, re-education camps and total firearms confiscation. In agreement with you, how many of “US” Law Abiding, Freedom Loving, God Fearing, Tax Paying, Patriotic Americans are going to let these in the minority, yes the minority run the most beautiful Country in the world into the ground?

    1. Trouble is, until the traitors are officially investigated, arrested, tried, convicted, and sentenced to prison, nothing is going to change for the better. The longer the traitors are in power, the stronger their grip on the country. Civil disobedience is the proper way to fight the demolition of our Bill of Rights for now. I pray such countermeasures are successful because if they aren’t, God help us.

  4. As I see it, Impeachment is only an accusation not a Conviction. This President has not been convicted of anything!
    The Socialist/Democrats fear this President so much because he can’t be bought or intimidated and they know that he poses a real danger to them politically because they are the ones who so hate this country and the Constitution. That also means us! The people who voted him into office.
    We tried again this election, but thanks to a lot of criminal acts against him aided by their massive voter fraud program that anyone with a 1/4 brain can see and understand, he was cheated from his win. Biden, the Brainiac, even bragged about their voter fraud program and how big it is!
    Thanks to the Socialist/Democrats, we no longer have any faith in our vote! Nor has there any action taken so far to get justice for the American people. Like it or not, all Americans have now been cheated!
    The main reason they are trying to impeach Trump again is because they fear he will be reelected in 2024 and there are so many of them with dirt on them that they don’t want revealed or used to prosecute them.
    Even Democrats now are pissed at the actions taken in their name! Good! Maybe they are waking up! You might only have been driving the car, but you are equally guilty of the bank robbery! Best to leave the gang before the crimes lest you spend time in the CrossBar Hotel!

    1. You see it right. Impeachment is indictment, but not conviction. So, yes, Trump is now twice impeached. That says nothing about President Trump, except that he has dared to have the courage to take his office as a solemn duty and trust. Instead, it says everything about the low character of the Democrats, and some Republicans, in the House, livid because a President, particularly one not in their party or an accomplice to their corrupt philosophy of entitled leadership, dares to be a great statesman and leader for the good of his country, instead of being a routine political panderer. Of course, in the Democratic Party, as well as in the Uniparty of the Deep State stronghold overall, the notion of being a great statesman on behalf of America is absolutely banned, in favor of selling the country to the push for global government and to line one’s personal pockets. Some would dare to call this treason.

  5. Matt Gaetz Goes Nuclear On the House Floor and Dems Lose It as He Calls Out Their Hypocrisy for Months of Riots.

    Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz did not hold back and put up a very large, figurative mirror in front of the Democrats in the House on Wednesday and made it clear that while the riot at the Capitol was wrong, the Democrats were literally cheering on months of destruction and violence during the Black Lives Matter riots.
    In addition, the Democrats really did not like hearing about it.

    During his time, Gaetz made it clear that rioting in any form is wrong, including the riots at the Capitol, but he had a message for Democrats “But make no mistake, the left in America has incited far more political violence than the right,” said Gaetz. “For months our cities burned, police stations burned, our businesses were shattered, and they said nothing!”

    “Or, they cheerlead for it, and they fundraised for it, and they allowed it to happen in the greatest country in the world,” he continued.

    At this point, you could hear a commotion rising in the background as Democrats began to yell at Gaetz.
    “Some have cited the metaphor that the President lit the flame,” said Gaetz, his voice rising to drown out the shouting.

    “They lit actual flames!” he shouted. “Actual fires and we had to put them out!”
    Gaetz was cut-off at this point.

    Democrats have been putting as much focus as they can on the Capitol riot and placing the blame for it at the feet of people such as President Donald Trump, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, and Missouri Senator Josh Hawley. Democrat politicians and the media have run the narrative that these individuals incited and encouraged these riots.

    This isn’t true, however. All three actually denounced the riots, especially Cruz who called for the prosecution of anyone involved in the Capitol riots.

    Gaetz is absolutely correct, however. The Democrats are on record encouraging political violence or, at the very least, shrugging it off. One viral video released in August shows Democrat after Democrat practically spurring on violence and destruction.

    If we’re playing by the left’s standards, then Democrats are wholly guilty of the assaults, lootings, burnings, destruction, and even murders that happened as a result of the Black Lives Matter riots.

    However, they refuse to hold themselves accountable and even make excuses for it as CNN’s Don Lemon did on Tuesday night where he justified the violence of Black Lives Matter because it was a movement “built on people.”

    Go on @RepMattGaetz for calling this out. They’re trying to take the heat of themselves while getting indignant about the Capitol riot. It’s all wrong and they need to own it.

  6. So what if the good for NOTHING DEMONcRATS impeach Trump. As long as the Senate doesn’t CONVICT him (hopefully there aren’t enough RINOs), he can still run in 2024, because they won’t be able to prevent it. He has to be convicted for them to be able to put that restriction on him. TRUMP 2024, 2028, 2032, etc., or someone with the exact same methods and ideas. NO MORE DEMONcRATS/SOCIALISTS/COMMUNISTS/FASCISTS in public office EVER.

  7. In this Great country a person is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.so it looks to me ,that a hell of alot of politicians are just blowing smoke up eachothers ass.Calm down an take it one day at a time.The old saying ,quit trying too put the cart ahead of the horse !

  8. I agree that an impeachment is nothing more than an indictment, but I would argue that an indictment has more meat. An impeachment is nothing more than a political move to attempt to silence the opponent. That’s all they are doing is trying to silence Republicans, and especially Trump, because he has such a loud mouthpiece. For anyone in this country to be “indicted”, much less convicted, before any real investigation has occurred is completely unAmerican. If they actually take the time to gather the facts and not react on emotion, assuming they actually care about facts, they would see there is zero evidence of inciting, at least no more than dozens of Congressman who are guilty of far worse. Maybe we need to hold every one of those people accountable for their inciteful words. Let’s start with Harris. Impeach Harris! Her words seems far more inflaming than anything Trump said.

  9. A minor point about the article rather than the impeachment and related proceedings.

    One of the quotes includes a correction: “It’s important to impeach & convict this president even if he has [a] few days left in office,”

    The original quote was correct. Few days means only a few days, or not many days. A few days is subtly different.

  10. Actually, Nancy, President Donald John “The Donald” Trump has now been impeached twice, the first President of the United States of America to hold that dubious honor. Why? Because impeachment is dependent upon a majority vote in the United States House of Representatives, and a majority of Representatives voted to impeach President Trump. Effectively, impeachment is an indictment, not a trial and conviction. Too, impeachment need not be fair, and I think we can all agree that neither the first nor second impeachment of President Trump by the United States House of Representatives was fair in any known sense or definition of “fair.” Both impeachments were and are founded in political revenge and absent of factual allegations or charges, which is why the first impeachment attempt failed at trial by the United States Senate. Should this second attempt through the means of impeachment go to trial, no conviction could possibly be based on factual charges, as there are no factual allegations. Because a second trial by the Senate, based on impeachment by the House of Representatives, is absent of a legitimate charge doesn’t mean our President couldn’t be convicted, however, as the verdict of such trial by the Senate is political, not a legal conclusion based on provable facts, of which there are none. Just because neither impeachment starting the process and proceeding to trial has any merit doesn’t mean the allegations contained in the Articles of Impeachment never happened.

    I tend to agree with the remainder of your Comment

  11. “What could happen if Trump becomes first president to be impeached twice”

    Folks, it would be another first for our great President. What a badge of honor. Mr. President you just keep getting better. You’re walking out the door and you still have the swamp frightened.

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