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These overall contours are constant. But there is no routine indictment.

Here’s another look at the impeachment process as spelled out in the Constitution and how it applies to this second Trump indictment, in which an American president is accused for the first time of inciting violence. against another branch of government.

The President, Vice President and all civilian officers of the United States will be removed from office upon indictment and conviction for treason, corruption or other serious crimes and misdemeanors. (Article 2, section 4)

What is Trump accused of doing?

There was much debate during Trump’s first indictment and trial as to whether the pressure he exerted on the President of Ukraine amounted to “high crimes and misdemeanors” or simply to a set of policies.

This time, while there is an argument that he committed treason, House Democrats alleged that Trump “engaged in serious crimes and misdemeanors by inciting violence against the state government- United”.

The article argues that Trump instigated his supporters by repeatedly denying election results before the electoral vote count, which he pressured the Georgian Secretary of State to “find” additional votes for him, and in doing so he “seriously endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of government,” “threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power and endangered a branch equal to the government “.

Read it all here. It’s short.

What does the Constitution say about the role of the Chamber?

The House of Representatives chooses its president and the other officers; and will have the sole power of impeachment. (Article 1, Section 2)

What does it mean for Trump this time?

Moving from Trump’s mischief to House impeachment proceedings took 86 days in 2019.

It only took a week in 2021.

The House can essentially remove at will. While there are precedents for initiating the impeachment process and resorting to House committees to investigate whether wrongful offenses have been committed, none of this is necessarily necessary. And the Democrats, acting quickly, are not going to embarrass themselves by dragging this out.

And why bother with an investigation when this time Trump did it on TV? In that first effort, details of Trump’s pressure on Ukraine leaked over the weeks and built into Democratic support to launch and investigate and ultimately to impeach him.

Trump’s tenure expired at noon on January 20, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also gave Trump and Vice President Mike Pence the ability to avoid impeachment if Trump resigns or Pence mobilizes Cabinet for use the 25th Amendment to remove him from office.

When those two offramps were ignored, Democrats in the House quickly headed for impeachment and the first post-presidential impeachment trial in U.S. history.

Impeaching Trump from the House only required a simple majority, and Democrats won the support of Republicans in the House as well.

What does the Constitution say about the role of the Senate?

The Senate will have the exclusive power to judge all indictments. When they sit for this purpose, they must be under oath or affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice presides: And no one can be sentenced without the agreement of two-thirds of the members present. (Article 1, Section 3)

What does it mean for Trump this time?

It took 48 days to go from Trump’s impeachment on December 19, 2019, to his acquittal on February 5, 2020. This process was slowed down by a break during the holidays. The trial actually began on January 16.

This time Trump is no longer in power and new President Joe Biden is asking the Senate to vote on his cabinet candidates and act on legislation to fight the Covid pandemic as well as to relieve Americans affected by the economy in difficulty.

In 2020, Senate business came to a complete halt during the trial, which began after the recess. This time, the trial is postponed to February 9 in order to give the Senate time to confirm the Cabinet as well as Trump to prepare a defense.

This time the accusations are much easier to convey and understand. It is still expected to take a number of days with Chief Justice John Roberts presiding and Senators judging. When Georgia’s two new Democratic senators are seated, it will take 17 Republicans voting with Democrats to achieve a two-thirds majority and condemn Trump.

What does the Constitution say about the sentence imposed on Trump if he is convicted?

Judgment on indictment shall not extend beyond removal from office and prohibition on holding and enjoying any office of honor, trust, or profit in the United States: but the party condemned will nevertheless be responsible and subject to an indictment, a trial, a judgment. and punishment, according to the law. (Article 2, Section 3)

What does it mean for Trump this time?

The most unconventional aspect of this second impeachment effort is that Trump is a former president. There is precedent for former public servants facing impeachment in both US history and in England, from where the founders imported the idea of ​​impeachment. Read here what is technically called a “late indictment” by scholars Frank Bowman and Brian Kalt.

The swift effort to impeach him certainly puts Trump in the position of wanting to keep Republican senators on his side.

Beyond the stain of being a president that the majority of Congress believes is worth impeaching for the second time, the conviction could mean he cannot run again in 2024. Him banning him from continuing in office would require a second vote from senators, although probably wouldn’t require a two-thirds agreement. It could also cost him his pension of over $ 200,000 a year if the Senate is to follow this path.

What else does the Constitution say about presidents and impeachment?

… he will have the power to grant stays and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in the event of an indictment. (Article 2, Section 2)

What does it mean for Trump this time?

It was widely believed that Trump had considered self-forgiveness never attempted before, to guard against future legal dangers associated with his tenure and candidacy. But that didn’t happen until Trump stepped down and retired to Mar-a-Lago.


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