Now that the House of Representatives has impeached President Donald Trump a second time, preventing him from take office again it could be the next step for Congress.
All House Democrats and 10 Republicans voted Wednesday to impeach Trump for his role in inciting last week’s riots on the U.S. Capitol.
On the Senate side, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said privately that finished with Trump.
But impeachment alone will not prevent that Trump seek a position in the future. Some questions and answers on how Congress could stop the outgoing president from running again for a federal charge.
What exactly does the prosecution accomplish?
The impeachment in the House, achieved this Wednesday, establishes a trial in the Senate, where a majority of two-thirds to remove the president from office. Trump has been to this point before, of course. After the House indicted him in late 2019 for his lobbying campaign on Ukraine, the Senate voted in favor of absolution. Only one Republican, Mitt Romney of Utah, broke with the Republican Party.
The president of the United States, Donald Trump. Photo: dpa
This time, however, I could turn out different. McConnell himself said Wednesday that he is undecided. Other Republicans are angry and Trump would presumably be out of office before it is voted whether to condemn it. President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn in on January 20. With the Senate split 50-50, the Democrats and the two independents forming the caucus with them they would need 17 republicans to join them in condemning Trump.
Is Trump automatically banned if convicted?
No, if the past is taken into account as a precedent. If the Senate condemns, legislators would vote separately on whether you are disqualified from future office.
No president has been convicted in the Senate and removed from office. But in the case of federal judges who were charged and removed from office, the Senate has conducted a second vote after conviction to determine whether to bar the person from holding federal office again.
Trump speaks on TV after the start of his second impeachment trial. Photo: AFP
The rod is lower in that second vote, and it only takes a majority of senators to have success. On the other hand, because it had never happened before in the case of a president, a judicial challenge could follow. Frank Bowman III, University of Missouri law professor and author de “A History of Impeachment for the Age of Trump”, said that in his opinion, the lower number of votes makes sense, but it is not crazy to think that could be questioned if things got to that point.
Another legal problem: It appears that Trump’s Senate trial will not even begin before January 19, a day before he leaves office. Scholars disagree on whether a former president can even face impeachment in the Senate.
Is that the only way to disable it?
Maybe not. In an opinion piece published in The Washington Post on Monday, Yale Law School professor Bruce Ackerman and Indiana University law professor Gerard Magliocca argued that members of Congress have another way, perhaps easier, to exclude Trump from office.
Pointed out Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, intended to prevent individuals from holding federal office if they are deemed to have “participated in an insurrection or rebellion against “the Constitution.
The teachers write yes a majority of votes both houses agree that Trump participated in an act of “insurrection or rebellion,” then you would be banned from running again for the White House. Only a two-thirds vote of each house of Congress in the future could undo that result.
The only article of impeachment adopted Wednesday cites that provision of the Constitution and says that Trump should be disqualified from future office.
What does section 3 of the 14th Amendment do?
The Fourteenth Amendment was one of three amendments adopted after the Civil War to end slavery and grant equal rights to blacks.
The goal of Section 3, according to Ackerman and Magliocca, was to prevent Confederates, those who had participated in “insurrections or rebellions,” from holding public office in the postwar period.
In 1872, Congress passed the Amnesty Act to allow these men to serve again. But Section 3 remains. Last used a century ago to prevent a Wisconsin socialist who opposed America’s entry into World War I from taking his seat in Congress.
The author is a journalist for the Associated Press