Donald Trump faces new impeachment threat that could prevent him from running in 2024
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Donald Trump is facing a new impeachment bid that if successful could see him prevented for running for president again in 2024.
Democratic rival Nancy Pelosi said on Friday if Trump did not resign following the tragic US Capitol riot that left five people dead, she will move ahead with a motion for impeachment.
If the motion, on the grounds that he incited violence by encouraging supporters to march on Washington, was approved it would make Trump the first president in history to be impeached twice.
Furthermore, it would potentially open the door on a vote to bar Trump from running for the office of presidency again.
But aside from the short time frame – there are only 11 days until the Republican is no longer president – the plan faces a number of significant obstacles.
While only a majority of the Democrat-controlled House of Representative’s 435 members are needed to approve bringing charges, known as “articles of impeachment,” the process then moves to the Senate for a trial.
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To convict and remove a president the Senate must vote by two thirds in favour, which is unlikely given its current political makeup.
Trump could be disqualified from future public office, as the US Constitution specifically lists this as a consequence of impeachment.
Again though, a two thirds Senate majority is needed for this to happen, and that vote can only take place after an impeachment trial.
It's highly unlikely all of this could be resolved in less than a fortnight even if there were the votes to get there.
Democrats, who said a House vote on impeachment could come next week, hope the threat will intensify pressure on Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment.
Trump has been accused of inciting a violent insurrection in his last days as the World's Most Powerful Man
The amendment can be used to remove a sitting president from office on the grounds he's no longer capable to fulfill his duties.
However the ever-loyal Pence has never spoken out against his boss publicly and an adviser confirmed he opposes the idea of using the 25th amendment.
There are also concerns that proceeding with impeachment will only deepen the toxic split in a deeply divided country.
"Impeaching President Donald Trump with 12 days remaining in his presidency would only serve to further divide the country," said White House spokesman Judd Deere.
And Alan Dershowitz, who helped represent Trump during his first impeachment trial last year, added he did not think the president committed an impeachable offence as statement to supporters was not tantamount to incitement.
The House previously impeached Trump in December 2019 for pressuring the Ukrainian president to investigate Joe Biden, but the Senate acquitted him in February 2020.
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A Reuters/Ipsos poll found 57 per cent of Americans want Trump to be removed immediately from office following the violence on Wednesday, that brought widespread condemnation around the world.
Nearly 70 per cent also disapproved of Trump's actions in the run-up to the Capitol rampage, that led to the deaths of one police officer and four others.
Articles of impeachment have been drafted by a number of Democrats, with 150 members co-sponsoring the move.
A copy circulating among members of Congress charges Trump with "inciting violence against the government of the United States" in a bid to overturn his loss to Biden in the 2020 presidential election.
The articles also cite Trump's hour-long phone call last week with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, in which the president asked the official to "find" enough votes to overturn Biden's victory in that state.
The impeachment bid came just as Twitter finally decided to ban Trump's account for good, due to concerns about the risk of inciting further violence.
Within hours, Trump tried tweeting his fury at the permanent suspension from the official President of the United States account but his posts were quickly deleted by Twitter.