Second impeachment in Trump Presidency to begin this week
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Another historic week is expected in Washington D.C. as U.S. House Democrats play out plans to move forward with efforts to impeach.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Sunday the plan Monday is to take up a motion for Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment within 24 hours.
If no response, they will move forward with impeachment.
Sunday, Congressman Ron Estes provided a statement to Eyewitness News on the impeachment.
“Nancy Pelosi’s pursuit of impeachment will only sow more division and chaos in an already precarious situation and follows Democrats’ previously unfounded calls for impeachment from before President Trump was even sworn into office. With just days left in his presidency before a peaceful transition of administrations, this action is not only unnecessary, but it would further divide the country.”
Congresswoman Sherice Davids posted a statement last week saying if President Trump doesn’t resign or if the 25th Amendment isn’t invoked, efforts to impeach should continue.
Eyewitness News spoke with Emporia State University Political Science Professor Dr. Michael Smith about the impending proceedings.
“Two impeachments are just absolutely unprecedented, so we’re all learning as we go here,” said Dr. Michael Smith.
Dr. Smith said one of the things to expect is for the events to move fast.
“Typically, as in the last time that Trump was impeached, all the collection of information. All the paperwork. thousands of pages, all the testimony, it takes months,” he said. “It would be an extraordinary expedited process.”
Dr. Smith said while we can expect partisanship this week, an unknown is how some Republican members will vote.
“I think that with folks like Jerry Moran from Kansas, who did not side with Trump on that fateful day, I think their votes are up in the air, and I think they could come down on the side of removing Trump from office if they believe it’s a national security issue,” said Dr. Smith.
That national security argument is one that he believes will play large as this gets started.
“I think that one of the primary concerns is behavior over the next week and a half. Trump has been behaving very strangely, even for Trump, according to things we hear from insiders like losing it when he found out he lost his Twitter account. Of course, that rally that many people interpret as railing people up before they went and seized the Capitol. The question is with him having access to the nuclear launch codes, the other perks and privileges and duties the president has to them, there’s some concern that perhaps even a week and a half is too long,” Dr. Smith said. “Cynics will also say the Democrats are also playing for political advantage, but I think for many it’s a matter of principle and national security.”
In the House, a simple majority is needed to impeach. The Senate requires a two-thirds majority to convict.
“What I’m seeing in the polling data is about a 50-50 split between about 50 percent who voted for Trump continuing to support him and his behavior and his false allegations that he actually won the election.” He said, “The other 50 percent are not so sure, so what it really is, is a moment of truth for the Republican Party.”
While Democrats are discussing moving fast in the House, some in the Democratic Party indicates the process could take a while to get to the Senate to allow President-elect Biden to get through his first 100 days in office.
President Trump can still be impeached even after he is out of office.
Dr. Smith said, “Which has never been done before, but it would strip him of the privileges of an ex-president and make it impossible for him to seek public office in the future, even though he would be out of office at the time.”
How this plays out could also show what role President Trump has in the Republican Party going forward.
“So much is uncertain, and one of the things that’s uncertain is with a state like Kansas having voted for Trump by pretty big margins and him winning three of the four Congressional in the state, also by pretty big margins, are those voters still with Trump?” He said, “That’s one question, but of course, there is also the issue that if you seek out public service and you do it for the right reasons, you stand by your country no matter what. However, I think there’s disagreement in the Republican Party about what that means. Does that mean you remove Trump or stand with Trump? The Republican Party is in an absolute crossroads right now, and that includes many Kansas Republicans.”
Dr. Smith said this is all new territory for the country.
“We usually only talk about insurrection in the United States when we’re talking about United States history, such as the War of 1812 or the Civil War or when we’re talking about other countries. So much of this is unprecedented,” Dr. Smith said.
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