Could President Trump Be Impeached?
The prospect of impeaching United States President Donald Trump is dividing Americans along party lines. In a recent npr-pbs poll, 70 percent of registered Democrats and 10 percent of registered Republicans said they would definitely vote for a candidate who wanted to impeach the president. With midterm congressional elections scheduled for November, speculation has emerged that a new Congress could attempt to remove President Trump from office if the Democrats take back the U.S. House of Representatives this fall.
What is impeachment? And if President Trump is impeached, how will it affect America?
What Is Impeachment?
The term “impeachment” is defined as “a charge of misconduct made against the holder of a public office” (Oxford English Dictionary). Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution gives the House of Representatives the sole power to impeach officers of the federal government—including the president. Articles of impeachment can pass with a simple majority of the vote in the House, but impeachment does not remove an official from office. An impeached president must be convicted by a two-thirds vote in the Senate to be legally removed from office.
President Andrew Johnson was impeached in 1868 for violating the Tenure in Office Act. President Bill Clinton was impeached in 1998 for lying to a federal grand jury. Yet the Senate acquitted both presidents. President Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 before impeachment proceedings could begin. No president has ever been removed from office via impeachment.
What Would It Take to Impeach President Trump?
Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) introduced articles of impeachment against President Trump last October. Yet these articles did not charge President Trump of a specific crime. Instead, they alleged that Mr. Trump had “brought disrepute, contempt, ridicule and disgrace on the presidency” and “sown discord among the people of the United States.” Only 58 House Democrats supported the measure.
It would take 218 members of the House of Representatives to impeach President Trump, and 67 members of the Senate to convict him. That means it would currently take all 194 House Democrats and 24 House Republicans to pass an article of impeachment. This makes the prospect of impeaching President Trump unlikely before the 116th Congress convenes in January 2019.
How Would the American People React?
This ideological divide between political parties is now wider than at any point since the post-Civil War Reconstruction Era ended in 1877, according to a study done at the University of Southern California. This makes talk of impeachment dangerous. Absent any sort of political consensus, it is inevitable that Democrats and Republicans will view impeachment from completely different perspectives.
Many Democrats talk of impeachment as a solemn duty to protect the nation. Many Republicans see impeachment as a coup against a duly elected president.
While Rep. Al Green says Mr. Trump needs to be impeached for sowing “discord among the people of the United States,” attempting to remove a sitting president from office will only sow more discord.
The bitter division in America today is leading toward a time of civil strife like the nation has never seen before. To understand the dark spiritual force behind this unrest, read “Charlottesville Violence—The Real Danger Is Invisible,” by Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry.