Within Congress this week, all eyes are seemingly focused on the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
House Democrats have proposed two articles of impeachment against Trump, one alleging he abused his office as detailed within the Ukraine scandal, and another saying he obstructed Congress in its attempts to investigate that matter.
The odds are favorable for a successful impeachment vote in the House of Representatives, but a failed indictment vote in the Senate, where a two-thirds majority is needed in order to remove the president from office. That would require every Democratic senator to vote for indictment, plus 20 Republicans to join them — a very unlikely scenario, given the current political climate.
Impeachment has piqued people’s interests, however, with some discussion centered on what would happen to Trump if he could be indicted by the Senate — with particular emphasis placed upon the question of, if he were removed from office, could he run for president again?
Politifact examined that idea and found that, yes, a president that’s indicted and removed from their position would be free to run for election again in the subsequent election cycle. Politically, it’d be next to impossible for them to get the nomination of their party again, let alone win the general election contest, but it’s something that can feasibly happen.
At least, it was something that could happen.
According to a report from Business Insider, Democrats have inserted language into the impeachment documents that would prevent Trump from being able to run again. That language reads as follows:
“Wherefore President Trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office, and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law. President Trump thus warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.”
(Emphasis in bold ours.)
Disqualifying Trump wouldn’t even require a supermajority in a subsequent vote following indictment: if impeachment is successful in the House, and indictment by some strange circumstances was to happen in the Senate, then Senators would take a vote on keeping Trump off future election ballots. Only a simple majority would be required to do so.
However, that outcome is highly unlikely to happen, as it, again, requires the two-thirds indictment vote in the Senate to be successful. But it’s still interesting to discuss hypotheticals, if only for an exercise in learning more about how impeachment, indictment, and its outcomes work, for this or any future president.