What Would It Have Taken To Convict Trump
It takes a two-thirds vote of the chamber to convict an impeached president. Thats a far higher threshold than an ordinary vote, and even the typical supermajority requirement in the Senate. And it has never happened in US history .
There are currently 53 Republican senators, so removing Trump would have taken 20 of them to defect. In the end, only Romney voted to convict .
Impeachment has polled moderately well, and Trump is moderately unpopular. But to inspire mass defections from Senate Republicans, the landscape would need to have been overwhelmingly in favor of impeachment.
Suits Filed By Trump Opponents
Many of the lawsuits filed against Trump asked for . A court’s compels no action as it simply resolves a legal question. A declaration that the president has accepted emoluments would make the work of House Managers easier in an impeachment.Blumenthal v. Trump asked for declaratory relief as to emoluments. In CREW and National Security Archive v. Trump and EOP, a declaratory finding that the administration willfully failed to retain records would support a charge of obstruction of justice. The CREW v. Trump case was dismissed in December 2017 for lack of standing, but in September 2019 this ruling was vacated and remanded upon appeal.Blumenthal v. Trump was dismissed in February 2020.
Where Does The Senate Come In
The Senate is tasked with handling the impeachment trial, which is presided over by the chief justice of the United States in the case of sitting presidents. However, in this unusual case, since Trump is not a sitting president, the largely ceremonial task has been left to the Senate pro tempore, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the chamber’s most senior member of the majority party.
“The president pro tempore has historically presided over Senate impeachment trials of non-presidents,” Leahy said in a statement in January. “When presiding over an impeachment trial, the president pro tempore takes an additional special oath to do impartial justice according to the Constitution and the laws. It is an oath that I take extraordinarily seriously.”
To remove a president from office, two-thirds of the members must vote in favor at present 67 if all 100 senators are present and voting.
If the Senate fails to convict, a president is considered impeached but is not removed, as was the case with both Clinton in 1998 and Andrew Johnson in 1868. In Johnsons case, the Senate fell one vote short of removing him from office on all three counts.
In this trial, since the president has already left office, the real punishment would come if the president were to be convicted, when the Senate would be expected to vote on a motion to ban the former president from ever holding federal office again.
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Communications With Ukrainian Officials
On September 20, 2019, reported that Trump had in a July 25 phone conversation repeatedly pressed Ukrainian president Zelenskyy to investigate matters relating to . reported that Trump told Zelenskyy to speak to Giuliani, and according to The Wall Street Journal, he urged Zelenskyy “about eight times” to work with Giuliani and investigate Biden’s son. On September 22, Trump acknowledged he had discussed Joe Biden during the call with Zelenskyy, and that he had said: “We don’t want our people like Vice President Biden and his son creating to the corruption already in the Ukraine.” As of October 2019, there has been no evidence produced of any of the alleged wrongdoing by the Bidens.
The Wall Street Journal reported on September 30 that Secretary of State also listened in on the call. Two days later, The Washington Post reported that Vice President Mike Pence’s national security advisor had listened in on the call as well, and that “Pence should have had access to the transcript within hours.” Others on the line included , the National Security Council’s senior director for Europe and Russia , an aide to and , a Ukraine expert for the NSC.
During the conversation, Zelenskyy mentioned that on his last visit to the U.S., he had stayed in . Ethics advocacy groups described this comment as an attempt to curry favor.
Report And Additional Materials
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Whats Crowdstrike And The Server And What Is Its Role In The Ukraine Scandal
A subplot to both Trumps call with Zelensky and his broader approach to Ukraine is his apparent belief that a company called Crowdstrike has ties to Ukraine and that it possibly stashed a Democratic National Committee server that was hacked during the 2016 elections. Trump would like the Ukrainians to hand this over to the US government.
This is a reference to a conspiracy theory that rolls together a couple of misperceptions.
That starts with the fact that Crowdstrike has nothing to do with Ukraine. Its an American company whose co-founder was born in Russia but emigrated to the US as a kid. Crowdstrike was hired by the Democratic National Committee to help investigate the hacking of their email during the 2016 campaign, and Trump is disturbed by the fact that the DNC did not turn a physical server over to the FBI or anyone else. Critically, there is no server that could be hidden in Ukraine because the DNC used a modern cloud-based distributed email setup.
But the notion Trump is alluding to is the idea that the DNC was not really hacked by Russian actors at all. Instead, that attribution was faked by the allegedly Ukraine-linked Crowdstrike, which then hid the evidence as part of a larger plot to frame both Trump and the Russian government. Trump has time and again sought to exonerate Russia of culpability for computer crimes in 2016, and his interest in Crowdstrike seems to be part of that larger agenda.
Did you know?
House Votes To Impeach Trump
The Democratic-led House of Representatives charged President Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
WASHINGTON The House of Representatives on Wednesday impeached President Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, making him the third president in history to be charged with committing high crimes and misdemeanors and face removal by the Senate.
On a day of constitutional consequence and raging partisan tension, the votes on the two articles of impeachment fell largely along party lines, after a bitter debate that stretched into the evening and reflected the deep polarization gripping American politics in the Trump era.
Only two Democrats opposed the article on abuse of power, which accused Mr. Trump of corruptly using the levers of government to solicit election assistance from Ukraine in the form of investigations to discredit his Democratic political rivals. Republicans were united in opposition. It passed 230 to 197, with Speaker Nancy Pelosi gaveling the vote to a close from the House rostrum.
On the second charge, obstruction of Congress, a third Democrat joined Republicans in opposition. The vote was 229 to 198.
On Wednesday, Democrats characterized his impeachment as an urgent action to stop a corrupt president whose misdeeds had unfolded in plain view from damaging the United States any further.
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Trump The First President In Us History To Be Impeached Twice Will Face A Senate Trial On The Accusation Of Inciting Insurrection Ahead Of The Capitol Riots
Trump has been charged with incitement of insurrection after hundreds of supporters stormed the US Capitol in protest of the 2020 presidential election result.
It is not the first time Trump has been impeached by the House of Representatives – the president faced a Senate trial in 2020 for an abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
Here’s all you need to know.
Why was Trump impeached the first time?
On 18 December 2019, Trump, the 45th president of the US, was impeached for an abuse of power and obstruction of Congress by the House.
This stemmed from a phone call Trump made to the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, encouraging him to dig up dirt on political rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
Biden jr worked for a Ukranian energy company when his father was US vice president under Barack Obama.
Trump’s administration was accused of withholding military aid from Ukraine at around that time and a White House meeting for Zelensky.
The House’s judiciary committee said Trump had “betrayed the nation by abusing his high office to enlist a foreign power in corrupting democratic elections”.
But he was acquitted by the Senate on 5 February 2020, on a near party-line vote. Senator Mitt Romney, a Republican from Utah, was the only one to break party ranks.
What does impeachment mean?
Resignations And Firings Of Witnesses
Marie Yovanovitch and Bill Taylor resigned from their positions in the State Department. Jennifer Williams left her position to take up a new post. Alexander Vindman was dismissed from his position in the White House following Trump’s acquittal by the Senate. Vindman’s twin brother Yevgenywho was not involved in the casewas also dismissed. Both Vindman brothers were reported to have been physically escorted from the White House. Gordon Sondland was also recalled from his position as ambassador. The White House claimed that the dismissals were necessary, but Trump was criticized for seeking revenge against those who had testified against him. Trump was also reported to have labelled Williams and Alexander Vindman as . Trump suggested that the Pentagon should seek disciplinary action against Vindman, but the Army declined to investigate., the top Pentagon policy advisor who, on July 25, 2019, warned Defense Secretary against withholding military aid to Ukraine, was forced to resign on February 19, 2020. In May 2019 he had certified to Congress that Ukraine was eligible for the aid.
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Full National Impact Of 2nd Trump Impeachment Could Take Decades To Unpack
Donald Trumps status as the only U.S. president to be impeached twice may be his most lasting legacy one that is far different than how he might have been remembered prior to the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol January 6 by his supporters.
Presidential historian Barbara Perry says that despite Trumps reputation for norm-breaking, racism and online bullying, the former president fulfilled many of the main promises he made on the campaign trail in 2016.
Maybe more than most presidents, he made good on his promises, says Perry, director of presidential studies at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center.
He lowered taxes on the wealthy. He limited and reduced federal regulations. He put conservatives to the tune of over 200 federal judges on the lower federal courts and three conservative members of the U.S. Supreme Court. He engaged in strong-arm tactics against China. He built part of his wall on the southern border and attempted to reduce, and succeeded in reducing, illegal immigration.
Forecasting how historians will perceive and treat the 45th president decades from now is a risky endeavor. Perspectives change over time. Yet Perry and other students of politics agree that Trumps trial for inciting insurrection, which begins this week, will likely obscure or taint the most notable accomplishments achieved during his presidency.
Road to healing
Actions Of First Whistleblower
Various right-wing commentators speculated the whistleblower had help from others, perhaps constituting a coordinated conspiracy. Speculation centered around Adam Schiff, the press, , , a team of lawyers or a research firm, and the intelligence community in general. After the whistleblower had informed the CIA’s general counsel of his concerns, he grew troubled by “how that initial avenue for airing his allegations through the CIA was unfolding”, according to The New York Times. He then contacted an aide for the House Intelligence Committee and provided a vague statement. The aide then followed standard procedure and advised the whistleblower to find a lawyer and file a complaint with the Intelligence Community inspector general . Neither Rep. Schiff nor the other members of the Committee saw the complaint until the night before they released it publicly, and the Committee was not involved in writing the complaint. Schiff and the Committee had no role in helping the whistleblower select an attorney.
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Hearings And Investigations: Februaryapril 2019
- Cohen testifies in private before the House Intelligence Committee.
- House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler announces requests for over sixty documents from the White House and other sources in his oversight investigations.
- The House Judiciary issues requests to 81 people for documents and testimony in a “pre-impeachment” investigation into obstruction of justice and other alleged threats to the rule of law.
- Cohen finishes testimony at the HIC.
- Mueller Report is delivered to Attorney General William Barr.
- According to Barr, the investigation “did not find evidence to charge other Americans in conspiring with Russia in 2016,” and did not come to a conclusion about obstruction of justice.
- While the Congress is waiting for the Mueller report to drop, Rep. Rashida Tlaib introduces another resolution, H.Res. 257, calling for a formal impeachment investigation of the president, which was referred to the Committee on Rules.
- The Mueller Report is made public. In it, Mueller lists multiple actions by Trump that could be considered obstruction of justice, but chooses for several reasons not to accuse the president of any crime, indicating that Congress should make that decision.
Process For Impeachment And Conviction
The following two charts show the process for impeachment, which begins in the U.S. House with the introduction of an impeachment resolution and a committee inquiry conducted by the United States House Committee on the Judiciary. If the committee adopts articles of impeachment against the official, the articles will go to a full floor vote in the U.S. House.
When articles of impeachment are adopted by the U.S. House, the process moves to the U.S. Senate where senators will either acquit or convict the official following a trial.
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The Presidential Impeachment Process
An impeachment proceeding is the formal process by which a sitting president of the United States is accused of wrongdoing. It is a political process and not a criminal process.
The articles of impeachment are the list of charges drafted against the president. The vice president and all civil officers of the U.S. can also face impeachment.
The process begins in the House of Representatives, where any member may make a suggestion to launch an impeachment proceeding. It is really up to the speaker of the House in practice, to determine whether or not to proceed with an inquiry into the alleged wrongdoing, though any member can force a vote to impeach.
Over 210 House Democrats introduced the most recent article of impeachment on Jan. 11, 2021, contending Trump “demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security, democracy and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law.”
The impeachment article, which seeks to bar Trump from holding office again, also cited Trump’s controversial call with the Georgia Republican secretary of state where he urged him to “find”enough votes for Trump to win the state and his efforts to “subvert and obstruct” certification of the vote.
And it cited the Constitution’s 14th Amendment, noting that it “prohibits any person who has ‘engaged in insurrection or rebellion against’ the United States” from holding office.
Whistleblower Rules And Hearsay
In late September, Trump tweeted a conspiracy theory that whistleblower rules were changed before the whistleblower complaint was submitted. Senator Lindsey Graham, and Trump’s lawyers Jay Sekulow and Rudy Giuliani made similar claims. Trump’s claim was based on an article from which incorrectly stated that the IC IG “secretly eliminated a requirement that whistleblowers provide direct, first-hand knowledge of alleged wrongdoings”, by revising their complaint form sometime between May 2018 and August 2019, removing a section from the old form containing the sentence: “If you think wrongdoing took place, but can provide nothing more than secondhand or unsubstantiated assertions, IC IG will not be able to process the complaint or information for submission as an ICWPA.”The Federalist article failed to mention that the old form had checkboxes where the whistleblower could indicate that their information was “direct” or from either “other employees” or other indirect sources.
Republican senator , a prominent author and advocate of whistleblower laws, spoke out against the conspiracy theory, saying the whistleblower appeared to have acted in accordance with the law and deserved to be heard.
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