It has been five days since Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election, and in that time President Donald Trump has refused to concede. Instead, Trump is cleaning house, removing senior Defense Department officials and replacing them with his loyalists, CNN reports.
Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article. If Democratic nominee Joe Biden defeats President Trump in the 2020 election, a future Trump presidency could still be possible, according to the U.S. Constitution.
The 22nd Amendment of the Constitution states only that “No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice,” but does not stipulate that those two terms must be held consecutively. In 1884, Cleveland became the 22nd President of the United States, but lost his re-election bid against his Republican opponent, Benjamin Harrison, four years later.
Though this has only been done once in U.S. history, the idea has already been floated around within the Trump campaign, according to former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon. Trump's onetime aide told The Australian last month that if the president loses in the 2020 election, he will likely run again.
“I'll make this prediction right now: If for any reason the election is stolen from or in some sort of way Joe Biden is declared the winner, Trump will announce he's going to run for re-election in 2024,” he said. Current national polls show Biden projected to win the election, but an unusually high number of mail-in ballots and tight races in key swing states could make the outcome hard to conclude.
This year saw an unprecedented number of early voters, with the figure topping 100 million before Election Day. While high voter turnout typically favors Democratic candidates, the impact of COVID-19 and early voting in this year's election is not entirely clear yet.
His July 2019 call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which he asked the foreign leader for the “favor” of interfering in the upcoming 2020 U.S. election, was enough to get him impeached. If Trump were a private citizen, he’d be facing up to 20 years in prison and hefty fines for the election fraud he tried to extract from Raffensperger.
The only thing that can definitively block a Trump comeback is to impeach him in the remaining days of his term and then legally destroy any chance of him running again. In 1862, the Senate permanently blacklisted renegade federal Judge West Humphreys, who took up a position in the court system of the traitorous Confederate States of America.
Fifteen years later, Secretary of War William Belong resigned as Congress was considering charges of corruption against him, but the House impeached him anyway, and the Senate asserted it had the authority to convict a person already out of office. Come Inauguration Day, the Biden administration’s incoming attorney general should establish an independent investigator to conduct a full probe of not just this latest case of sedition, but the rest of the crimes committed by Trump, his family, and associates.
And those crimes are many: campaign finance violations, tax fraud, real estate fraud, conspiracy to defraud the United States by sabotaging the Postal Service, violating the emoluments' clause of the Constitution by profiting from his government position, violating the Hatch Act by using public property and resources for political campaigning, obstructing justice in the Mueller inquiry, bribing the Ukrainian president, and multiple allegations of sexual assault. That’s undoubtedly a major reason behind his desperate attempts to dodge the democratic verdict voters delivered against him on Election Day.
Of course, it’s admittedly unlikely that the Democratic leadership will pursue a second impeachment against Trump, but if it wanted to bar him from ever again threatening U.S. democracy, it would consider the action. Given the scale of the crisis facing the country with the coronavirus and the economic depression it sparked, the advice of those like House Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries, D-N. Y, who says to “look forward, not backward” is understandable.
There are plenty of reasons to perhaps conclude that it’s best to let Trump fade from our national rearview mirror as quickly as possible and get on with clawing our way back from his disasters. Over 350,000 people are dead, as many as 10 million jobs have evaporated forever, and the COVID-19 vaccine rollout is a total failure so far.
“If I'm advising the President and, occasionally, we have conversations I would say to him, ‘Sir, you are in a good position right now, if you come up short, to run again in four years’,” he continued. However, he said, if Trump does want to run it is important that he is careful on his “way out” to make sure that he does not “damage a potential race four years from now”.
If the president were to be impeached and convicted, his ability to run in 2024 would depend on whether Congress decided to disqualify him or not. In response to the dramatic visuals spreading on social media of a mob breaking into the U.S. Capitol, many have started to direct the blame towards President Trump.
Multiple Democratic lawmakers, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, are now calling for his immediate removal through either an impeachment hearing or the 25th Amendment. In this situation, Congress would decide the issue, by holding a vote, in which two-thirds of both houses are needed for the Vice President to take over.
“Judgement in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.” Our legal expert told the Verify team that this means that Congress has the constitutional authority to include in the impeachment a disqualification from serving in future offices.
The Verify Team looked into whether the President would be able to run in 2024, if he were to be removed by the 25th Amendment or through an impeachment hearing. Three Democratic representatives, meanwhile, are circulating articles of impeachment focusing on Trump ’s incitement of an insurrection that briefly occupied the United States Capitol on Wednesday.
The articles also highlight a call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger ®, where Trump urged Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to overturn President -elect Joe Biden’s victory in Georgia. On Wednesday night, while the memory of being forced out of the Capitol by an angry mob of Trump supporters was still fresh in the minds of lawmakers, Fox News’s John Roberts reported that there was “talk swirling” among Republicans in Congress about using the impeachment process to ensure that Trump cannot run for president again in 2024.
If Trump were to seek the presidency again in four years, he could be the prohibitive favorite in a Republican Party primary. A December Gallup poll shows that Trump has an 87 percent approval rating among Republicans, even though he is quite unpopular with the nation as a whole.
Caroline Brahman/Carroll Call via Getty Images The Supreme Court has not ruled on whether simple majority vote is sufficient to disqualify someone from public office after they’ve already been removed. Before a public official is convicted by the Senate, they enjoy heightened procedural protections and must be found guilty by a super majority vote.
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