Efforts to impeach Donald Trump are already underway, with a number of legal experts and angry voters looking for potential ways to unseat the deeply unpopular Republican as soon as he is sworn in as president.
Even before Trump was officially declared the winner of the 2016 presidential election, there was already a flood of people taking to the internet to look up the process of impeachment and exactly what it would take to impeach Donald Trump. Google searches for “how to impeach a president” jumped by 5,000 percent in the hours after election results started coming in, the Independent noted.
Many others looked up the actual process for impeachment, which is a fairly complicated procedure that includes separate voting from the House of Representatives and Senate.
— EUGENE PLAWIUK (@eplawiuk) November 10, 2016
Some of those efforts have already started. There is a viral Change.org petition requesting the “immediate impeachment” of Donald Trump, and the petition has already amassed 28,000 signatures.
“Donald Trump has won the 2016 presidential election. It is clear something is wrong here if an openly homophobic, racist, xenophobic and sexist individual can become the most powerful man in the world.
“Make it clear you do not want this man leading our free nation. Donald Trump as POTUS is a danger to the entire world.”
The petition did not give a specific reason why Donald Trump might be impeached, and there could be an ulterior motive for the petition — at the bottom is a link to purchase custom-made anti-Trump T-shirts from the petition’s founder.
Many other people have taken to social media to call for Donald Trump’s impeachment, and some experts believe there could be grounds for it. As Politico noted, some believed that Trump’s insistence on building a wall at the Mexican border could be his undoing.
“From the right, Washington attorney Bruce Fein puts the odds at 50/50 that a President Trump commits impeachable offenses as president. Liberal Florida Rep. Alan Grayson says Trump’s insistence on building a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border, if concrete was poured despite Congress’s opposition, could lead down a path toward impeachment. Even the mainstream Republican head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently tossed out the I-word when discussing the civilian backlash if Trump’s trade war with China led to higher prices on everyday items sold at WalMart and Target.”
University of Utah law professor Christopher Peterson has already laid out what could be the grounds for Trump’s impeachment, saying the impending fraud lawsuit over his Trump University might end up leading to him being kicked out of office.
“In the United States, it is illegal for businesses to use false statements to convince consumers to purchase their services,” Peterson wrote, via the Daily Mail. “The evidence indicates that Trump University used a systemic pattern of fraudulent representations to trick thousands of families into investing in a program that can be argued was a sham.”
If Donald Trump were to be impeached and removed from office, it would be a first in American history. There have only been two presidents impeached by the House of Representatives — Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton — and in both instances, the Senate failed to vote for impeachment. Richard Nixon also faced impeachment after Watergate but chose to resign instead.
And Trump could not be impeached until he actually committed a crime while holding the office of president, others have pointed out.
— Gunter Sharp (@GunterGSharp) November 10, 2016
Though some have laid out what they believe is a case for Donald Trump to be impeached, others note that it highly unlikely it would happen. Trump will be coming into office with a Republican majority in both the House and Senate, and there seems to be little to no political will from his own party to take him out of office. Democrats, though they may be sore from Hillary Clinton’s loss, have also expressed no desire to impeach Trump.
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