Bronwyn O'Neill looks at why Trump could be impeached and what it would mean for the US government.
Waking up on the 9th of November, learning the results of the US election, seemed like a slap in the face of the minorities and women Trump opposed. It seemed almost unbelievable, and since that day there have been calls to impeach him and get him out of government.
The latest comment that has stirred hope for Trump’s removal as president was from top Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein, who said that Trump will “get himself out of office soon”. These comments came after anti-Trump protestors asked why there wasn’t more being done to get Trump out of office.
“We know he is breaking the law every day," one protestor said. "He has obvious dealings with Russia. There’s so many things he’s doing that are unconstitutional. How are we going to get him out?”
Although the Senator said they are “working on Bills” to remove Trump from presidency, she did not fully explain what they intend to do, other than look at conflicts of interest between his seat in the White House and his businesses.
However, these are all words. Trump does not seem to be moving from his role as president, his family are continuing to cost the tax payers millions of dollars as his wife refuses to move into the White House and he is relentless with his travel bans. So if Trump doesn’t seem like he will resign, is there hope for him to leave the White House before his term is up?
The term 'impeachment' has been swirling around Trump since his first day in office. Is this just a fantasy that those who oppose Trump have concocted to make themselves feel better about what could happen under Trump’s rule?
On the 21st of March, the FBI announced that they would be looking into collusion between Moscow and Trump to release damaging information about Hillary Clinton during the presidential campaign last year. Maxine Waters, a member of Congress, tweeted “get ready for impeachment” after the announcement the FBI would be looking into Trump.
So if Trump is impeached what will happen?
If Trump is impeached, it is highly like that Pence, his Vice President, will become President. If Trump has been playing a game this whole time, perhaps his end goal was to be impeached so Pence could become President. The Republicans have always wanted Pence as President over Trump; Pence has been a working Republican politician for years and has been a member of Congress since 2000. His extreme views on women’s, LGBTAQ+ and reproduction rights made it unlikely he would be elected, so through this back door, Pence could possibly become President.
Trump could step down if he feels like he will be impeached or he could simply refuse to comply with impeachment proceedings. With someone so unpredictable as Trump, (just a quick glance at his Twitter will highlight his temperament) there is uncertainty as to how he will react if impeachment is on the table.
But of course, impeachment doesn’t actually mean expulsion from office. Take Bill Clinton’s impeachment for example. Impeachment happens in the House of Representatives if a majority
approves articles of impeachment previously approved in a committee. Trump can’t actually be removed from office without a two thirds majority in the Senate. Republicans, Trump's party, hold a majority of 52 out of 100 seats. So the Republican party would also have to turn on Trump, not just the Democrats and the anti-Trump supporters outside of the political sphere. However, it would be very likely that Republicans would turn against Trump if their voters turned against him.
So is Trump trying to be impeached so Pence can become president? Will he actually be impeached in the first place? Can he resign without facing backlash from those who voted for him for being different from politicians and being a “working man”?
People have been saying Trump will be impeached or will resign since the moment it was announced he had won the presidency. Even during his campaign, people were sure he would drop out. Michael Moore, a journalist and documentary maker, wrongly predicted Trump would resign before his inauguration. Trump will always be a point of contention, and it seems unlikely people will stop calling for him to be removed from office, but I won’t hold my breath for it.