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All you need to know about Donald Trump’s second impeachment and Amendment 25 of the United States Constitution

by Abolade Akinkunmi - 13 January 2021 465 Views
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All you need to know about Donald Trump’s second impeachment and Amendment 25 of the United States Constitution


President Donald Trump is probably the most controversial American president in modern history. He has a number of achievements – both positive and negative - to his credit too. One of the negative ones is that he is one of the three American presidents that have ever been impeached. He is about to set a record as the first American president to be impeached twice. Articles of impeachment have been instituted against him before the Democrat-led House of Representatives for the second time despite having just a few days left in office. Many politicians have hailed this move while some have even asked Mike Pence – The United States Vice President who also doubles as the President of the Senate – to exercise his powers under the 25th Amendment of the United States Constitution. This article seeks to explain the intricacies involved in all these issues.


Why is Donald Trump being impeached for the second time?


Donald Trump is being is being impeached for the second time for urging protesters to march on the Capitol in order to prevent Congress from certifying election results which confirm Joe Biden as the winner of the election. At the order of Donald Trump, violent protesters invaded the Capitol Hill and disrupted the activities of Congress. The Capitol had to be evacuated as a result of the invasion. A lot of damage was done with 5 lives lost. This is the ground upon which democrats base their article of impeachment against Donald Trump.


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Is there a chance that the impeachment will succeed?


Considering the fact that the House of Representatives is being controlled by Democrats, the impeachment would most likely succeed. Also, a number of Republicans have expressed their displeasure on Trump’s action in instigating an invasion of the Capitol and would most likely vote in support of Trump’s impeachment. So, the answer is yes. The Chances of the impeachment succeeding are very high.


What is the effect of the impeachment?


The impeachment alone has no practical implication. Voting to impeach Trump only means that the House of Representatives has decided to start a trial to remove Trump. An impeachment only means that the House of Representatives will present a case against the President before the Senate. Only the Senate has the power to remove the president.


During the trial, the Chief Justice of the United States presides over the trial. The members of House of Representative present their case against the president to the Senate. After the trial, members of the Senate vote on whether to convict the president. A 2/3 of the Senate vote is required to convict the president. If the president is convicted, he is removed from office and the vice president takes over.


What does the 25th Amendment of the United States Constitution contain?


The 25th Amendment of the United States Constitution has been a subject of discussion within the past few days. Section 4 permits the President to be temporarily stripped of his power if the vice president and other members of the Executive write to the President of the Senate and Speaker of House Representatives that the president is unable to discharge the functions of his office. During that period before the president writes to the Congress that he is able to fulfill the functions of his office, the vice president assumes control.


There have been calls for that power to be invoked. However, the vice president, Mike Pence has refused to invoke that power and has shown no indication of changing his mind. Also, it is questionable whether the powers can be invoked in this situation. Donald Trump doesn’t suffer from any medical condition and can carry out the functions of his office. It then becomes a question whether the actions of president Trump in the past few days would fall within the scope of what is envisaged by the drafters of the 25th Amendment.


What do Democrats seek to achieve from these?


The Democrats have tried several attempts to remove Donald Trump from office within the past few days despite the fact that the president has just few days left in office. The Democrats seek to impeach the president and have him removed. If he is removed from office, the Senate could vote to disallow Trump from holding any public office in the future. If that succeeds, Trump will not be able to run in 2024 as he has indicated. Only a simple majority vote is needed for that.


If the 25th Amendment is invoked, it will guarantee that Donald Trump will leave office on the 20th as he will have no power to do anything which will stall the inauguration of Joe Biden. In the end, all that Democrats want is to ensure that Donald Trump leaves office, if possible, not allowed to run for any office in the future.

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