Economics Index and Qualifications
By Richard Bruce BA, MA, and PhC in Economics
Former Instructor St. John's University, New York City

Will Trump be Impeached, and Then What?

With Trump being investigated and the Democrats possibly taking the majority in the House and Senate in the upcoming midterms many people are wondering if Trump might be impeached and if so then what happens.

Step One-Impeach Trump

Every two years all the members of the House of Representitives go up for reelection. It is widely believed that the Democrats might win enough seats in the House to become the majority. As a majority is required to impeach they could impeach Trump.

Step Two-Convict and Remove Trump

But Trump would still be president, impeachment would simply mean that he had to be tried by the Senate, and in the Senate a two thirds vote is required to convict Trump and remove him from office. The Republicans currently have a majority of the Senate and only a few of their Senators are up for reelection. In the unlikely event that all the Democrat incombents win and all the Republican incombanents lose the Republicans would still have encough votes to block Trump's removal from office, with about ten votes to spare.

It is perhaps concievable that the Republicans would decide that Trump was political poison and join with the Democrats in convicting and removing him from office. While two presidents have been impeached, no president has ever been convicted and removed from office. But the Republicans did turn against Nixon and he resigned because the Republicans told him they would join in convicting him.

Step 3-Impeach Pence

If Trump was removed from office, Vice President Pence would become president. Maxine Waters has said that Pence would be impeached too. Given the record of Pence as an honest man this might seem very political, but if you search hard enough you can come up with a case against anyone. If the Democrats had a majority of the House they could do this.

Step 4-Convict and Remove Pence

But impeaching Pence would do little, to remove him from office you would have to get two thirds of the Senate to vote to convict. The Republicans would still have enough votes to block this. The Democrats would have to convince ten Republicans to turn on Pence, and make the Democratic speaker of the House, presumably Nancy Pelosi, President. This looks close to impossible.

Furthermore, if they wanted Nancy Pelosi to be president they would have to block Pence's nomination for vice president. As Pence would need the majority of both the House and the Senate to confirm his new Vice President the Democrats could block him. We are assuming that they have won a majority in both houses of Congress. Still this would look political.

If all this happened then the Democrats would get perhaps a year of Nancy Pelosi. With majorities in the House and Senate and the President they could perhaps get a Supreme Court Justice or two and some legislation.

Do the Democrats Want to Get Rid of Trump?

On the other hand the Democrats probably figure that Trump will be a weak candidate for president in 2020, it is not clear they would want to get rid of him. Pence could be a stronger candidate for the Republicans and as argued above removing him would be difficult.

So the present conflict is probably not about removing Trump from office, it is about generating bad press for Trump. All things considered that seems a bit unncessary. He generates enough bad press himself, without anyone's help.


How will the 3rd world develop? This popular web page lays out the growth path.

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Last updated August 21, 2018

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