Trump could now be banned from running for or re-holding public office.
The president was impeached in 2020 for claiming to have abused his power by withholding aid to Ukraine in the hope that his leader would investigate Joe Biden, his political rival. He was indicted by the House of Representatives but acquitted by the Senate.
U.S. Democrats could delay a Senate impeachment trial until the end of Joe Biden’s first 100 days in office, a senior official said, releasing the new president to continue his first agenda.
What is impeachment?
Impeachment is the process by which Congress brings certain officials, namely the President, to justice.
The US constitution defines a wide range of offenses that can lead to indictment: “Treason, corruption or other serious crimes and misdemeanors”.
If a president is convicted of indictment, he is immediately removed from office.
What would this mean for Donald Trump?
If Trump is sentenced by the Senate before his term expires on January 20, he would be removed from office. However, since the deadline is very tight, it is more likely that his trial in the Senate will take place after his departure. In this case, the Senate can also vote to prohibit him from running again for public office.
If Trump were banned from running for or re-entering public office, it would end any possible discussion of a 2024 comeback.
The US Senate has the power to prevent Trump from doing so, and a vote on it should only be passed by a simple majority. There is precedent that the Senate has barred officials from running again after their indictment. Judges Robert Archbald (in 1913) and West H Humphreys (in 1862) were both barred from running after their arraignment, although this fate has never happened to a president before.
A vote on this can only take place after an impeachment vote.
Trump could also lose access to a range of public benefits to which he would otherwise be entitled.
Under the Former Presidents Act 1958, he would be denied his annual pension of $ 200,000, an annual travel allowance of $ 1 million, and additional funds for his future staff. However, thanks to an order signed by his predecessor Barack Obama, Trump will still be guaranteed his secret service for life.
If Trump tried to forgive himself before stepping down, which no president has attempted before, the situation would become much murkier.