More than half of Democrats in the House of Representatives are calling for President Trump to be impeached and impeached after his supporters broke into and took control of the Capitol on Wednesday. That comes from a whip count left-wing page Daily Kos from Thursday afternoon. While many of the pro-impeachment Democrats come from very liberal districts, the effort has fairly broad and growing support.
So a growing majority of the 222 House Democrats support the impeachment, and at least 16 Senators, including Senate Minority Chairman Chuck Schumer, also participate in the call.
That leaves four big questions open:
- Will Trump administration officials invoke the 25th Amendment and remove the president from office by declaring he cannot do his job instead of waiting for Congress to act?
- House Spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi will bring the house back to indict Trump a second time as she suggested on Thursday that she might do if Trump’s cabinet doesn’t remove him?
- Would the House then actually indict Trump, which would basically require all Democrats to be on board as it is unlikely that House Republicans would support those efforts?
- And if the House indicts Trump, are there 66 senators (including 18 Republicans) who would vote this time to remove him from office?
Let’s look at these questions one by one. According to Section 4 of the 25th Amendment, Which has not yet been called To remove a seated president, the vice-president and a majority of cabinet members may sign a written declaration stating that the president is unable to perform his duties, which allows the vice-president to temporarily replace him.
But removing Trump from power for his last 13 days in office would be super complicated, and there are several reasons why it is unlikely to happen. For starters, Section 4 seems to be designed to allow a president to be seriously injured or mentally disabled – it is not written like a tool that officials can use to replace someone whose decisions people disagree with, as Trump did Case is. It is also not clear whether the “incumbent” members of Trump’s cabinet who have not been ratified by the Senate could take part in such a vote. There is also the reality that there may not be enough votes. Trump has fired cabinet officials who are not loyal to him, such as former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper. And the cabinet secretaries, horrified by Trump’s actions, can simply resign. like Minister of Transport Elaine Chao on Thursdayand joined a number of other senior administrative officials.
Impeachment could go a long way as well, as there are two big reasons House Democrats may not be participating in this push with an overwhelming majority of their caucus. First, Trump has less than two weeks in office, so some of them see attempts to remove him sooner as pretty fruitless. Second, some House Democrats may be reluctant to indict Trump if there is no appetite to remove him in the Senate, where his condemnation would require many Republican votes. The Democrats have tried to get Trump out of office before and the Republicans refused to leave alongSome may be reluctant to try again.
There are likely procedural ways to force an impeachment vote, but realistically I would assume that a vote will only take place if Pelosi approves the idea. On Thursday, she urged the cabinet to invoke the 25th amendment, but left open the possibility of a vote on the impeachment of the House if it does not. I tend to believe that if there was a vote, impeachment would happen to the House, with almost all Democrats for and most Republicans against.
The Senate currently has 99 members (Georgian David Perdue, who just lost his re-election bid, left a vacant seat during his term in office ended January 3rd) so would need it 66 votes to remove Trump – including 18 Republicans. Earlier this year, only one Republican senator, Utah’s Mitt Romney, backed Trump’s removal. You could imagine that Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Ben Sasse of Nebraska would support Trump’s removal this time, motivated by a combination of anger at Wednesday’s events, frustration at Trump’s refusal to admit, and the security of knowing they were will not face re-election for another six years. But although Many Republican lawmakers were furious Regarding the Capitol invasion on Wednesday, most of them didn’t directly criticize Trump, perhaps fearing that he still has a lot of leverage over the party’s grassroots. It’s hard to see eight Republicans support Trump’s ousting, let alone 18.
In short, neither the executive-driven 25th amendment process nor the impeachment and removal process in Congress appear to be forcing Trump from office, and both processes would likely fail for the same reason: they would require Republicans to be aligned with Trump – like Senator Lindsey Graham and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, or Secretaries Mike Pompeo (State) and Ben Carson (Housing and Urban Development) – to turn the President on dramatically. Wednesday was a terrible day in America, as many Republicans have publicly said. But it is still unlikely that after four years allied with him, these Republicans will embarrass Trump by forcing him out of the White House days before he leaves the White House.