As President Donald Trump’s approval rating continues to fall and alleged Russia connections push the House of Representatives closer to impeachment, more members of the United States Senate are reportedly ready to join the effort.
With Republicans holding the cards, support for Trump has been more about stabilizing the party. With Trump’s alleged ties to Russia continuing to surface, Senate Republicans are quickly realizing that impeachment may be the only way to prevent the GOP from folding into its own footprint.
Much like how Trump chided Hillary Clinton for her years of scandals, the list belonging to the president is only growing. The James Comey debacle could have helped Trump save face, but it only scratched the surface to improve the likelihood that he lasts four years in the White House. This is a president who, even before he was elected, called Mexican immigrants rapists, criminals, and killers. His mantra of having “no ties to Russia” has not only fallen on deaf ears, but it turned out to be false.
And then there’s Trump’s sweeping Muslin ban. It also failed to help Trump make his case against impeachment. But it’s not up to him.
Of course, House Democrats are ready to act. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-California) said she would “fight every day” for a Donald Trump impeachment. Rep. Justin Amash, a Michigan Republican, isn’t pulling any punches either. He told the Washington Post that if Trump did, in fact, ask Comey to stop the Michael Flynn probe, it is grounds for impeachment.
In the Senate, lawmakers won’t have a decision to make if the House doesn’t vote for impeachment.
According to the United States Constitution, “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.”
As of this report, the president hasn’t been accused of any criminal activity, only of being incompetent to run the country, which is not grounds for his ouster. However, insiders say it is only a matter of time, poising senators to stand by as the House makes a push to remove Trump from office.
Here’s how an impeachment would pan out. The House would first vote Trump out; representatives would need 218 votes. With 238 Republican seats in the House to the Dems’ 193, 25 members of the GOP would have to vote for impeachment. Like Bill Clinton in 1999, Trump would face trial in the Senate if the House impeaches him. Those proceedings would conclude with a vote. A two-thirds vote is needed in the Senate for Donald Trump to actually be removed from office, making Mike Pence the 46th president of the United States.
And although Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton were both impeached in the House, neither lost their jobs. Johnson was kept in office by a single Senate tally. Clinton was spared by a 55-45 vote.
There is no need for the Senate to do this. https://t.co/UlfFCDCTS8— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) May 30, 2017
In 1974, Richard Nixon resigned amid what pundits said was an almost certain impeachment by both chambers of Congress. Nixon had Republican support at the onset of the Watergate scandal. As it unfolded, seven Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee were poised to impeach him, and more followed.
And as Republicans join the cause for a Donald Trump impeachment, Pence is finding more favor.
That means Trump could also simply quit as the GOP shifts their support. Lawmakers could also make Pence president by way of the Section 4 of the 25th Amendment, adopted in 1967 after Lyndon B. Johnson succeeded the assassinated John F. Kennedy in 1963. According to reports, they wouldn’t necessarily need him to resign.
The 25th Amendment states the vice president could be made president if the president is deemed “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” For that to happen to Trump, Pence and the majority of the president’s cabinet would have to agree the president is unfit to continue. Trump would have the opportunity to dispute such a finding, pushing the measure to Congress. There, a two-thirds vote in both chambers would be required to oust him.
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