Impeachment: How Would It Work?


So Democrats are sounding more serious about impeachment, but the timing is obviously an enormous problem. From the New York Times:

Representative Katherine Clark of Massachusetts, the No. 4 Democrat, said that if Vice President Mike Pence would not invoke the 25th Amendment to forcibly relieve Mr. Trump of his duties, House Democrats were prepared to act on impeachment by the middle of next week. But in a noon phone call, some others cautioned that Democrats needed to pause to consider the implications.

The middle of next week puts us a week away from Biden’s inauguration. Is it remotely plausible, even if McConnell were motivated to try to do it, that a Senate trial would take place immediately after the House passed articles and finish in a matter of days? (The Senate is in recess until the 19th, by the way, so it would have to come back explicitly for this.)

If not, is the idea that the trial would take place after Trump left office in Chuck Schumer’s senate?

It is technically possible to impeach an official after he has left office, but, in sheer political terms, that would presumably strike people as at the least very odd and perhaps as vindictive.

How motivated would Senate Republicans be to pursue the matter at that point? It would still be a painful vote for many of them, and the Trump presidency would already be in the rearview mirror.

Trump’s offense on Wednesday was incredibly grave, but it’s easy to see how this response ends up becoming a fiasco.





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