A Democratic congressman filed a Resolution of Inquiry against Donald Trump, a possible first step on the road to impeaching the president. If Donald Trump is impeached and removed from office, what happens next in America?
First off, the basis for the arguments for impeachment is Donald Trump’s business entanglements, both foreign and domestic, which potentially violate various laws in place to prevent any president from financially benefiting from the office. Trump’s businesses overseas interact with several foreign governments, including China, and his domestic enterprises have garnered additional income from other diplomatic venues. As a result, Trump may be in violation of the Foreign Emoluments Clause.
According to a document from www.impeachdonaldtrumpnow.org, “Foreign diplomats have already begun shifting their D.C. hotel and event reservations to Trump International Hotel, to curry favor or at least avoid insulting the president…. Indeed, the Embassy of Kuwait was reportedly pressured by the Trump Organization to change an existing reservation and reschedule the event at the Trump International.”
Why is this important? Several of the major non-party players in presidential elections in the last 30 years, such as Ross Perot and Donald Trump, are rich businessmen. They were able to breach the political party barriers due to their wealth and prestige as businessmen. Eliminating Donald Trump for his business interactions could well inhibit others from attempting to get involved in politics. If Trump is impeached, the action could very well shut the door from future non-party players from entering politics. In the choice between money and power, many will choose the “money is power” option.
Another thing to keep in mind is the level of support Trump has. Regardless of what polls are saying now, Trump has many die-hard followers. Both the Republlican nomination and official presidential campaigns proved this. Those followers will be extremely displeased if their president is removed by Democratic opposition. Many of them already feel persecuted for their political ideologies, and Trump’s impeachment would only exacerbate the situation.
A third point regarding Trump’s impeachment is the potential expansion of legislative power. When President Andrew Johnson was impeached in 1868, his ability to act was severely hampered. What happened next was Reconstruction, a bitter, divisive time led by a vengeful Congress against the South. Johnson was in favor of Lincoln’s plans for reuniting the South with the North in a peaceful, positive fashion, but due to his lack of popularity and the subsequent impeachment, Reconstruction led to years of anger in the South. It is one of the reasons the South voted Democratic for many years after the Civil War, getting the nickname “The Solid South.”
Richard Nixon resigned before he was impeached and Congress gained a significant power boost while Gerald Ford was in office. The same thing happened when Republicans attempted to impeach Bill Clinton on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice. Democrats closed ranks and Clinton was essentially untouchable for the remainder of his tenure. Considering the vast numbers of Republicans in both the House and Senate which would be required to impeach and remove Trump from office, a failed attempt would only cement his power and that of his congressional allies.
Another point of contention for those who oppose Trump is his designated successor, Vice President Mike Pence. Pence is arguably even more classically conservative than Trump, having supported numerous pieces of controversial legislation during his tenure as Indiana’s governor. Religious freedom and LGBTQ rights were significant points of contention during his time as governor, not to mention the various pro-life/pro-choice battles fought in Indiana in that time. Pence would also likely be a more effective leader, less prone to the media sound bites (and tweets) Trump has become infamous for. Pence is a politician with a greater understanding of how the political system works than does Trump. As such, those who oppose Trump would likely find a much more challenging opponent should Pence replace Trump as President.
So what do you think would happen if President Donald Trump is impeached and/or removed from office? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below!
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