Impeachment 2.0: What to and not to expect

So, the House of Representatives have drawn up the Articles of Impeachment against Donald J. Trump, the 45th president of United States who was previously impeached on December 18, 2019.

Round Two consists of the following High Crimes and Misdemeanors. At this moment, more counts could be added to this draft but here is what we have thus far.

    • Willfully inciting violence against the Government of the United States.
    • Willfully made statements that encouraged—and foreseeably resulted in—imminent lawless action at the Capitol.
    • Trump’s conduct on January 6, 2021 was consistent with his prior efforts to subvert and obstruct the certification of the results of the 2020 presidential election.
      • A phone call on January 2, 2021, in which Trump urged Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to ‘‘find’’ enough votes to overturn the Georgia presidential election results and threatened Mr. Raffensperger if he failed to do so.

The draft ends with a request for a Senate trial that if convicted, Trump could never hold any federal office again.

What Happens in the Senate?

In his last few days as Majority Leader of the Senate, “Mitch McConnell has sent out a memo to Republican senators that outlines how a potential Senate trial would work for President Trump — proceedings that would all but certainly occur after he leaves the White House.”

  • The Senate will not reconvene for substantive business until January 19.
  • The earliest an impeachment trial could begin would be January 19, the day before Joe Biden’s inauguration.
  • The Senate will hold two pro forma sessions next week, on Jan. 12 and Jan. 15, but will not start any proceedings unless 100 Senators agreed to them.
  • By kicking the can to Chuck Schumer following the inauguration, the impeachment trial will distract from enacting Joe Biden’s “immediate agenda to battle the coronavirus pandemic and ensure that his Cabinet nominees get confirmed.”

An interesting twist: Under the Constitution, the Chief Justice presides over an impeachment trial of a sitting president. Trump will be out of office by the time the Senate holds a trial. It’s unclear who will preside over this trial.

The bottom line: Removing Trump from office before his term officially ends on January 20th, is pretty much impossible. Pence appears unlikely to invoke the 25th Amendment and the time it will take to impeach Trump and hold a trial to convict him will not happen before the 20th.

However, Trump will go down in history as a one term president, the worst president ever, and the only president to be impeached TWICE.

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