Trump’s Trials: The Third Impeachment

from Issue 11


Impeachment proceedings for the President of the United States, Donald Trump, are currently underway, with Trump facing a trial in the Senate on two articles of impeachment. These articles, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, were approved by the House of Representatives.
Trump has called the inquiry a resumption of a “witch hunt” that has complicated his presidency, and Republican members of Congress have attacked the process as a sham that disregards the president’s due process rights and impedes his ability to conduct foreign policy.
This all started when Trump made a call to Ukraine leader Volodymyr Zelensky. The call was Trump asking for the Ukrainian president to uncover information about former Vice President Joe Biden.
In terms of impeachment, the Constitution states “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors” as justification for the proceedings. According to Suzanna Sherry, a law professor at Vanderbilt University, “nobody knows” what is included or not included in the Constitution’s definition of “high crimes and misdemeanors.”
While the Senate trial has the power to remove Trump from office, it does not necessarily prohibit him from running for president in another term. Nor does the Senate have the power to send a president straight to jail. “The worst that can happen is that he is removed from office, that’s the sole punishment,” Sherry said.
If Trump is indeed removed from office, Mike Pence, the Vice President of the United States, will take office, under the Constitution’s 25th amendment. If Pence did indeed become president, he would have the capability of pardoning Trump if he is arrested for any crimes. This has been done before, when Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon in 1974. This is unlikely, though, as the senate is majority Republican, and they must vote to remove Trump from office. It is too early to tell, though, as the inquiry has just begun. Perhaps a new president will take the reins of the United States within the coming months.