Is Trump’s Impeachment Inevitable?

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Yesterday was #ComeyDay and, oh boy, it certainly added more fuel to the fire surrounding Trump and his administration!

Nowadays, the scandals associated with President Donald Trump’s administration almost seem commonplace; therefore, one can’t help but wonder if an impeachment is inevitable since the president’s deception and Russian ties are growing in severity. As I scroll through my social media updates, I often notice the multitude of posts that incorrectly use the term “impeachment” in regards to the call for Trump to be removed from office. However, it is important to understand that these processes are not tantamount.

Remember, there have already been two presidents in U.S. history who were impeached: Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Regardless of being impeached, both remained president because the Senate failed to achieve the two-thirds majority needed for conviction; therefore, both men were eventually acquitted. Richard Nixon was on his way to being fully-impeached, but resigned before Congress could finalize the impeachment process.

Impeachment occurs when charges of misconduct are filed against a civil officer or government official. First, the House of Representatives must come to the agreement that an act of misconduct has occurred. Then, they must vote on the charges and pass the articles of impeachment. Once passed, the president has officially been impeached. However, this does not mean he or she will automatically be removed from office. After these charges have been passed in the House, the president will be tried before the Senate and Chief Justice of the United States (John Roberts) to determine whether the charges are sufficient for a conviction, which would lead to the president’s immediate removal from office.

The Washington Post recently reported that Trump leaked extremely classified information to Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Kislyak about the Islamic State. This information was “so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies and tightly restricted even within the U.S. government”. This act is so grave, that many are urgently calling for Trump’s removal from office as this can very well be regarded as an act of treason.

In Section III of Article I of the U.S. Constitution,

“Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.”

To summarize, a conviction by the Senate does not send a president to jail. The powers of the Senate in the impeachment trial are limited to removing an official from office or barring an official from future office if convicted. The president, or now former president, will still have to undergo prosecution in a criminal court of law.

Knowing what we know now, here are the real questions one should consider:

1) If the House impeached Donald Trump, would the GOP-majority Senate follow through with a conviction?

2) Would Mike Pence be a better president? He has been smiling quite a lot lately. Could it be due to the increasing likelihood of a Trump impeachment? Vice President Pence has continued to defend and risk his reputation for President Trump. Yet, once again, these acts were undermined when Trump went on to contradict Pence’s statements, as well as those his other surrogates, this past week when responding to criticism about his reasons for FBI Director Comey’s firing in an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt.

3) Would Paul Ryan be a better president? That’s right! The Speaker of the House is the next candidate in the presidential line of succession after the Vice President. Speaker Ryan could possibly become president if Mike Pence had to resign, or if he, too, was impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate.

4) Is there a way to stop the unending controversy of this administration? To this, there is an answer and it can’t be stated enough: VOTE!

Midterms elections are next year and they’re scheduled for November 6, 2018. Trump may not be up for re-election (if he makes it that far), but your representatives and senators will be.

YOU. NEED. TO. VOTE. It’s not a choice, it’s a civic responsibility. Call your representatives, call your senators, and hold them accountable in your local town halls. Keep the conversation going on social media, and exercise the rights guaranteed to you in the First Amendment to speak freely, peacefully resist, and/or assemble if necessary.