MADISON, Wisconsin (WMTV) – President Donald Trump is now indicted twice with one week out of office. What does this mean for his future?
There is nothing the president can do to get out of the legal mess he finds himself in, Kenneth Mayer, professor of political science at UW-Madison, told NBC15.
On Wednesday afternoon, the House of Representatives voted 232-197, accusing the president of inciting insurgency after the deadly riots on Capitol Hill last week. Ten Republicans have joined the ranks of Democrats, a change from Trump’s first indictment.
The Senate, by way of trial, now holds the power to convict and dismiss the president. It would take a two-thirds majority to do this.
The Senate can also decide whether Trump can run for president again. A separate vote should be taken for this, and Mayer says this is where a post-sentence trial can be important.
This kind of trial, he said, aims to establish the principle that no president can do the things Trump has done. Mayer also explained that this option seems more likely because the Senate is currently not in session and does not intend to meet until the day before the inauguration.
Until then, Mayer has said the president can try to defend himself, but with impeachment his presidential pardon power is off the table. Even if there was some sort of arrangement in which Trump forgives himself, or he resigns and Mike Pence becomes president and forgives him – that doesn’t protect him from impeachment, he said.
If condemned by the Senate, Trump could face other repercussions, such as the loss of benefits given to former presidents. This includes a lifetime pension and a budget for office, staff and travel.
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