Trump impeachment: Ex-President conviction a ‘tall order’ as impeachment continues

Trump: Expert discusses impeachment and 2024 election

President Biden took the oath of office on Wednesday, ending Donald Trump’s single four-year term with a long-absent Democrat majority in both chambers of Congress. The ex-president has now retreated back to his resort in Florida, where he will likely remain for the near future, out of the minds of many Americans. But the US government hasn’t finished with him yet, as senators must still consider a trial stemming from his second impeachment last year.

Congress’ lower chamber, the House of Representatives, has already voted to impeach Mr Trump.

The next step is for the articles of impeachment to move through the legislature to the Senate.

Democrats – who now have a majority in the chamber – announced today these articles would arrive by Monday.

Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House of Representatives, confirmed the process in a statement today.

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She said: “We are respectful of the Senate’s constitutional power over the trial and always attentive to the fairness of the process, noting that the former president will have had the same amount of time to prepare for trial as our Managers.

“Our Managers are ready to begin to make their case to 100 Senate jurors through the trial process.”

Senators can choose to convict or acquit, but the consequences will be different for Mr Trump.

Conviction traditionally means Congress can remove a president from office, but Mr Trump is now a civilian.

In his case, the Senate could choose to bar him from political office, but this would require another vote.

Matthew Davis, Lecturer and Researcher in American Law at Birmingham City University, told that Democrats could struggle to find the numbers needed to get to this stage.

He said: “There are some conversations taking place that there may be a challenge to the constitutionality of the Senate trying Trump as he is no longer in office.

“It is hard to see that argument withstanding legal scrutiny.”

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“In terms of Trump being barred from running for office, the first hurdle would be for the Senate to convict Trump with a two-thirds majority.

“This means that 17 Republicans would need to vote for the article of impeachment.”

Mr Davis said Democrats, who currently have a majority of one with the Vice President, may not find the numbers needed to bar him from office.

Much like the last trial, Republicans will likely vote with their former leader.

While several have expressed their opposition to the former President’s actions, a majority have not.

Mr Davis said: “Some certainly may, but it may be a tall order for Democrats to get 17 Republicans to sign on.

“If two-thirds of the Senate do vote in favour of the article of impeachment, then a separate vote, requiring only a simple majority, on barring Trump from office could take place.

“If it gets to that point, it is highly likely that he would be barred from Office.”

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