Invoking The 25th Amendment
On the evening of January 6, CBS News reported that Cabinet members were discussing invoking the 25th Amendment. The ten Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee, led by U.S. Representative David Cicilline, sent a letter to Pence to “emphatically urge” him to invoke the 25th Amendment and declare Trump “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office”, claiming that he incited and condoned the riots. For invocation, Pence and at least eight Cabinet members, forming a simple majority, would have to consent. Additionally, if challenged by Trump, the second invocation would maintain Pence as acting president, subject to a vote of approval in both houses of Congress, with a two-thirds supermajority necessary in each chamber to sustain. However, Congress would not have needed to act before January 20 for Pence to remain acting president until Biden was inaugurated, per the timeline described in Section 4.
On the same day, the House of Representatives voted to call for Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment. The resolution passed with 223 in favor, 205 against, and 5 not voting Adam Kinzinger was the only Republican to join a unified Democratic Caucus.
Drafted Articles Of Impeachment
Within hours of the Capitol attack, members of Congress began to call for the impeachment of Donald Trump as president. Several representatives began the process of independently drafting various articles of impeachment. Of these attempts, the first to become public were those of Representative Ilhan Omar ” rel=”nofollow”> DMN-5) who drafted and introduced articles of impeachment against Trump.
Representative David Cicilline ” rel=”nofollow”> DRI-1) separately drafted an article of impeachment. The text was obtained by CNN on January 8. On Twitter, Cicilline acknowledged the coauthorship of Ted Lieu and Jamie Raskin, and said that “more than 110” members had signed on to this article. “Article I: Incitement of Insurrection” accuses Trump of having “willfully made statements that encouragedand foreseeably resulted inimminent lawless action at the Capitol”. As a result of incitement by Trump, “a mob unlawfully breached the Capitol” and “engaged in violent, deadly, destructive, and seditious acts”. On January 10, it was announced that the bill had gathered 210 cosponsors in the House.
House Votes To Impeach Trump
The Democratic-led House of Representatives charged President Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
WASHINGTON The House of Representatives on Wednesday impeached President Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, making him the third president in history to be charged with committing high crimes and misdemeanors and face removal by the Senate.
On a day of constitutional consequence and raging partisan tension, the votes on the two articles of impeachment fell largely along party lines, after a bitter debate that stretched into the evening and reflected the deep polarization gripping American politics in the Trump era.
Only two Democrats opposed the article on abuse of power, which accused Mr. Trump of corruptly using the levers of government to solicit election assistance from Ukraine in the form of investigations to discredit his Democratic political rivals. Republicans were united in opposition. It passed 230 to 197, with Speaker Nancy Pelosi gaveling the vote to a close from the House rostrum.
On the second charge, obstruction of Congress, a third Democrat joined Republicans in opposition. The vote was 229 to 198.
On Wednesday, Democrats characterized his impeachment as an urgent action to stop a corrupt president whose misdeeds had unfolded in plain view from damaging the United States any further.
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Could It Be Used Now
It’s possible, but some experts say unlikely.
Associate Professor in American Politics at the University of Sydney’s United States Studies Centre, Brendon O’Connor, says impeachment is a far better approach for those looking to permanently oust Mr Trump.
And on the off-chance this approach was attempted, it wouldn’t be any time soon.
“I really think the 14th amendment would be something that could only be deployed after he’s been on trial ,” he said.
“Why muddy the waters by attempting to do two things at once?”
And, he adds, how it would work is ambiguous.
Brian Kalt, a law professor at Michigan State University, says it would probably need a combination of legislation and litigation.
“The 14th Amendment route is very unclear as to what it would take to get it rolling,” Mr Kalt says.
Another section in the 14th Amendment, Section 5, empowers Congress to enforce the entire amendment through “appropriate legislation.”
Some scholars have interpreted this language to mean that a majority of both chambers of Congress could enact a law applying a ban to a particular president, like Mr Trump.
Associate Professor Aiden Warren, from RMIT’s School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, says it’s a waiting game.
“It’s like the other million dollar question if Trump would pardon himself. We just don’t know,” he said.
How Does The Trial Work
The trial in the Senate is political, rather than criminal. A vote will be held at the end of the trial to determine whether Mr Trump is guilty of the charge.
A two-thirds majority of the 100-member Senate must back a guilty verdict to convict Mr Trump.
If Mr Trump is convicted, senators could also vote to bar him from ever holding public office again.
House delivers impeachment charge against Donald Trump to the Senate
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‘nuclear Football’ In An Adjacent Cell
In the Oval Office, Trump conducted business at the ornate Resolute Desk. From prison, he’d likely have little more than a metal table.
But Trump could probably do a lot of the chief executive’s job from a prison cell, with some accommodations, according to legal scholars.
First, he could take the oath of office there, as nothing within the Constitution requires a president to be at any particular location, Laurence Tribe, a constitutional-law professor at Harvard University, said.
President Lyndon B. Johnson took his oath aboard Air Force One in 1963 after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
After taking the oath, Trump could theoretically do from a prison cell many of the things presidents normally do from the Oval Office, Tribe said. He could issue pardons, veto bills, issue executive orders, sign legislation, and make political appointments.
“Some presidents have described the White House as a prison, but the Constitution doesn’t specify that that’s the only prison you could occupy in order to serve as president,” Tribe added.
One constitutional requirement for a president is a periodic State of the Union address to Congress.
But they don’t need to be delivered in person. From 1801 until 1913, presidents gave written messages to Congress instead of delivering in-person speeches.
So it’s possible that Trump could deliver the address via Zoom while wearing orange prison garb, Tribe said.
Can The President Be Impeached After Leaving Office
Legal scholars have been arguing about whether it’s constitutional to try a former president for impeachment.
In a Washington Post op-ed, conservative former U.S. Court of Appeals Judge J. Michael Luttig says it’s not, asserting that the Constitution only allows the Senate to convict an incumbent president.
“Once Trump’s term ends on January 20, Congress loses its constitutional authority to continue impeachment proceedings against him even if the House has already approved articles of impeachment,” Luttig wrote this week.
But Vladeck says that another section of the Constitution Article I, Section 3, Clause 7 puts two questions before the Senate when it says, “Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States.”
“The Constitution contemplates that the Senate can do two different things when an officer is impeached. It can remove them from office but it can also disqualify them from holding future office,” he told CBS News. “The expiration of President Trump’s term renders one of those moot, but not both of them.”
The Senate has also traditionally separated a vote to convict an official on impeachment charges from a vote to bar him or her from holding future office. Eight people have been convicted on impeachment charges, but just three have been disqualified from holding future office.
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Who Is Involved In The Trial
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts presided over the first impeachment trial of Mr Trump, but will not do so again.
Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy – third in the line of presidential succession – is presiding over the trial instead.
Prosecuting the case are nine House Democrats, known as the impeachment managers.
Mr Trump is being represented by two attorneys – Bruce Castor and David Schoen.
All 100 US senators have been sworn in as jurors in the trial.
Could Trump Run For President Again If Convicted
If he is convicted by the Senate, lawmakers must hold another vote to block him from running for elected office again – which he had indicated he planned to do in 2024.
This could be the biggest consequence of this impeachment.
If he is convicted, a simple majority of senators would be needed to block Mr Trump from holding “any office of honour, trust or profit under the United States”.
So 50 senators plus a casting vote from Vice-President Kamala Harris would be enough to damn Mr Trump’s hopes of political power.
This could be appealing to Republicans hoping to run for president in the future and those who want Mr Trump out of the party.
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Can Removal Of Powers Happen Before January 20
In theory, yes. If Pence and the majority of Cabinet members were to invoke Section 4 of the 25th Amendment, it would see Trump immediately stripped of his powers. Even if Trump contested this, Congress has up to 21 days to clear him as fit for office but this requires a two-thirds majority in both chambers.
If Trump opponents pursued impeachment, this, too, in theory, could be done before Inauguration Day. But even if there was a rare moment of bipartisan support for impeachment, it would still remain challenging.
“Practically speaking, it’s highly unlikely because the historical precedents call for a multi-week investigation into the allegations against the president. That certainly was the case with regard to Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton, Richard Nixon and Donald Trump himself when he was impeached,” said Gaughan, who believes the 25th Amendment would be more likely to be invoked by those seeking to oust Trump.
What About Impeaching Donald Trump
While some Republicans are calling for the 25th amendment, others including high profile Democrats like Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez are calling for impeachment, reports CNN.
Impeachment is also in the constitution and is the process in which the ‘President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States’ can be removed from office if convicted in an impeachment trial of ‘Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors’. Bill Clinton famously underwent an impeachment trial over his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky which did not successfully pass. Trump has already undergone impeachment proceedings too, over abusing his power by allegedly pressuring Ukraine to dig up information on Biden and his son Hunter Biden, reports the BBC. The motion did not pass due to the Republican party supporting him through the proceedings.
If a president is successfully impeached, it means they can never hold a federal office again which is why some are encouraging this way forward instead.
Impeachment is the preferable route to the 25th because: it forces every Member of Congress to vote on the record and it can bar Trump from ever holding office again. It can be done quickly if Rs join Ds as they unanimously should.But do either. He must be removed.
â Ian Bassin ïºï¦
â Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Impeach. Unseat. Arrest.
â Elizabeth Banks
Impeach. Remove. Prosecute. Incarcerate. Get started.
â Amon Warmann
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What’s The Purpose Of The 25th Amendment
The 25th Amendment, ratified in 1967 and adopted in the wake of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, deals with presidential succession and disability.
Section 4 addresses situations where a president is unable to do the job but does not step down voluntarily.
The drafters of the 25th Amendment clearly intended for it to apply when a president is incapacitated by a physical or mental illness, experts say. Some scholars have also argued that it could also apply more broadly to a president who is dangerously unfit for office.
For the 25th Amendment to be invoked, Mr Pence and the majority of Mr Trump’s Cabinet would need to declare that Mr Trump is unable to perform the duties of the presidency and remove him. Mr Pence would take over, in that scenario.
Mr Trump could subsequently declare that he is capable of resuming the job. If Mr Pence and the majority of the Cabinet do not contest Mr Trump’s determination, Mr Trump regains power.
If they dispute Mr Trump’s declaration, the issue would then be decided by Congress, but Mr Pence would continue to act as president until then.
A two-thirds majority of both Chambers would be needed to keep Mr Trump sidelined. But the Democratic-controlled House could simply delay voting on the substantive dispute until Mr Trump’s term ends, said constitutional law Professor Paul Campos from the University of Colorado.
Explainer: There Are Two Ways In Which Us President Could Be Forced Out Of Office
US vice-president Mike Pence: there are two scenarios in which he could be installed as president in place of a deposed Donald Trump. Photograph: Erin Schaff//AFP via Getty Images
The storming of the US Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump on Wednesday has prompted calls by some lawmakers to remove him from office before president-elect Joe Biden is sworn in on January 20th.
The chaotic scenes unfolded after Republican Trump, who has refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power, addressed thousands of protesters and repeated unfounded claims that the election was stolen from him.
There are two ways to remove a president from office: the 25th Amendment of the US constitution and impeachment followed by a Senate conviction. In either scenario, vice-president Mike Pence would take over until Biden’s inauguration.
Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as they storm the US Capitol in Washington on Wednesday. Photograph: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images
A source familiar with the effort said here have been some preliminary discussions among some cabinet members and Trump allies about invoking the 25th Amendment.
Whats the purpose of the 25th Amendment?
The 25th Amendment, ratified in 1967 and adopted in the wake of president John F Kennedys assassination in 1963, deals with presidential succession and disability.
Section 4 addresses situations where a president is unable to do the job but does not step down voluntarily.
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The Presidential Impeachment Process
An impeachment proceeding is the formal process by which a sitting president of the United States is accused of wrongdoing. It is a political process and not a criminal process.
The articles of impeachment are the list of charges drafted against the president. The vice president and all civil officers of the U.S. can also face impeachment.
The process begins in the House of Representatives, where any member may make a suggestion to launch an impeachment proceeding. It is really up to the speaker of the House in practice, to determine whether or not to proceed with an inquiry into the alleged wrongdoing, though any member can force a vote to impeach.
Over 210 House Democrats introduced the most recent article of impeachment on Jan. 11, 2021, contending Trump “demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security, democracy and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law.”
The impeachment article, which seeks to bar Trump from holding office again, also cited Trump’s controversial call with the Georgia Republican secretary of state where he urged him to “find”enough votes for Trump to win the state and his efforts to “subvert and obstruct” certification of the vote.
And it cited the Constitution’s 14th Amendment, noting that it “prohibits any person who has ‘engaged in insurrection or rebellion against’ the United States” from holding office.
Can Trump Face Legal Charges Over The Capitol Incident
Yes. Legal experts say a potential charge Trump could face over the US Capitol uprising is sedition. Kenneth Manusama, a lecturer at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and expert on US constitutional law, told DW: “Sedition is the most applicable to this situation because it’s basically inciting to use force against the exercise of authority by the state, which is what Congress was doing yesterday.
Under the United States Code it is a criminal act to incite an insurrection against the government.
“Whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States, states the chapter on Treason, Sedition and Subversive Activities, which is within the Code’s Crimes and Criminal Procedure section.
Another section on seditious conspiracy could also potentially be considered.
If prosecutors were to pursue the sedition route, they would face roadblocks before Inauguration Day due to presidential immunity.
“Because Trump is still president, even if he is deprived of powers under the 25th Amendment, he’s still president. So he enjoys immunity from criminal prosecution,” said Manusama.
Unless Trump is pardoned for such a potential charge before Biden is sworn into office, immunity would no longer apply at noon on January 20.