Politics

Top Trump Supporter Says Even if Trump is Impeached, He Can Run for President Two More Times

Donald Trump is in some serious hot water right now.

House speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a few weeks ago that a formal impeachment inquiry will be carried out by Congress to determine whether the president violated his oath of office and should be removed from power.

The House Intelligence Committee will now lead the investigation into whether Trump withheld the funding to strong-arm Ukraine into conspiring to swing the 2020 election in his favor by smearing a political rival.

That phone call, by the way, took place just one day after ex-FBI special counsel Robert Mueller testified before Congress on the conclusions of his 446-page report, which had essentially investigated Trump for the same offense in 2016, found 10 counts of possible obstructions of justice and explicitly stated that Trump was not exonerated, implicitly suggesting he would have been prosecuted were he not a sitting a president.

Chairman Jerry Nadler’s House Judiciary Committee, already investigating potential impeachable offenses arising from the above and numerous other episodes, will oversee the intelligence panel’s findings.

The committee could draft formal articles of impeachment against Trump in time for Christmas, allowing the Democrat-dominated House of Representatives to vote on whether they consider him fit to continue as president or whether they believe he has committed “high crimes and misdemeanors” and should be removed from office.

But one Trump supporter says it’s not a problem, because even if Trump is impeached, the Senate won’t convict him and then Trump can run for president two more times.

Ummm…not so fast.

A great deal has to be resolved before anything can happen and one of the many interesting questions the situation begs is whether an impeached president can still run for office, as Trump is scheduled to do next year.

Only Andrew Jackson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998 have ever been impeached before, with Richard Nixon resigning in 1974 before he could face the ordeal as a result of the Watergate scandal. That means there really is no legal precedent for the current situation.

But under Senate rules, a vote to impeach the president automatically removes them but does not explicitly bar them from holding office ever again, meaning Trump would be free to run even if he were impeached (albeit badly tarnished in the eyes of the American electorate) and take office again should he manage to pull off an unlikely victory at the ballot box.

The Constitution states: Judgement in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States.

But, according to Politico, the Senate could, having found him guilty, then hold a vote on disqualifying Trump from holding future office, which would require only a simple majority from the upper chamber.

This step is extremely rare, though, and has only ever been applied to three impeached US federal judges: West H. Humphreys in 1862, Robert W. Archibald in 1913 and G. Thomas Porteous Jr. in 2010.

That would leave the ball with Senate majority leader “Moscow” Mitch McConnell, nominally a Trump ally but not a man to inconvenience himself politically at the best of times.

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