After almost four months in the office of the President of the United States, the talk of getting Donald Trump out of his position is heating up, but how does an impeachment even happen? The idea of impeaching the president is one that hasn’t been a true topic of serious discussion in a long time, but things have changed in 2017. Now, performing such a serious action is not easily done and there are plenty of steps, but it’s time to see just what the rules of impeachment actually are.
With every passing day, there are more discussions of removing President Trump from his position and even his own party is joining in. According to The Hill, the first Republicans are beginning to talk about the possibility of impeachment and how logical it actually is.
Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) said that if the reports of Trump putting pressure on former FBI Director James Comey to end his investigation into Michael Flynn are true, impeachment may be the only action to take. Of course, there would be a “fair trial,” but the idea of Republicans even whispering “impeachment” is a huge deal.
But, how can it actually happen?
USA Today reported that the entire process of impeachment is detailed in Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution of the United States. It gives the specifics of how an impeachment can happen and if Trump will end up being the third one to be taken out of office.
“The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
Those are very high grounds that would be needed in order for impeachment to actually happen as those are the only reasons that a President can be removed from office.
Per Article I, Section 2 of the United States Constitution, the House of Representatives has the sole power to impeach or make formal charges against an elected official. Article I, Section 3 gives to the Senate the sole power to try impeachments brought against an elected official.
The rules of impeachment kind of look like this:
- Congress needs to determine through investigation if there is enough evidence and reason to bring charges in the first place.
- The House votes on whether or not they should move ahead with impeachment.
- The Senate votes on whether or not to convict the president of the charges brought against him.
If the Senate goes through with the vote and ends up with a two-thirds majority voting “yes,” then, there would be an impeachment of President Donald Trump. He would be removed from office and Vice President Mike Pence would take over in his place.
Should an impeachment take place, that wouldn’t necessarily be the end of the line for the former president. It is possible that more punishment could come his way since the charges brought against him are criminal offenses.
There is one more way that the president can be removed from office other than an impeachment, and it has to do with the 25th Amendment of the Constitution. Cornell University details that the 25th states that Congress can remove a president if the vice president and other Cabinet officials deem him “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”
In that case, there would not be charges filed, but he would be removed from office.
There is always the possibility that Donald Trump will complete all four years of his term as President of the United States. It isn’t overly simplistic to remove someone from the most powerful position in the entire world and taking the current president out of office won’t be a short or easy process. The rules of impeachment are clearly spelled out in the Constitution and they are not at the point of being exercised now, but it is possible they could receive a long look soon.
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