A Hillary Clinton presidency would be most Democrats’ dream payback for all of the undoing of Obama-era policies by President Trump. Although it has become apparent that Mrs. Clinton will not be running for the Democratic nomination, likely ever again, theoretically she could legally become the President of the United States in 2019.
Now before you close this article, writing it off as a bunch of bologna, lets look at the possible scenario which could make her the first female President of the United States of America by the end of 2019. (emphasis on the word “could”)
Currently Republicans control both the House and the Senate, but in November most political pundits believe that Democrats will win the House back. On January 3, 2019 the new Congress will be sworn in and regardless of what Mueller finds in his investigation, if Democrats have the majority in the House, they will almost certainly move to impeach President Trump. Impeachment simply requires a vote of greater than 50% within the House of Representatives.
If, and it’s a big if, the Mueller probe finds that not only did President Trump commit an impeachable offense but so did Vice President Mike Pence, then things get incredibly interesting. Both men could be impeached simultaneously, which means that a trial for them both would be held in the Senate. Each of the 100 Senators would act as jurors in this trial, and Mike Pence, who would ordinarily have a tie-breaking vote, would almost certainly have to recuse himself.
We don’t know exactly how the Senate will shape up after November. Republicans likely will still have control, but the Senate, unlike the House, is fairly moderate, meaning that if Mueller provides clear and damning evidence of crimes, it’s likely that the Senate could vote to convict both men. Unlike in the House, however, the Senate would require a 2/3rd vote (67 Senators) to convict. If convicted, both men would be forced out of office as the Constitution states.
It is also entirely possible that Mike Pence would simply resign. If Mueller is able to show that the Trump was elected by illegal and immoral means, then Pence would have also benefitted from these actions. The pressure could force him to simply resign and try to unite the nation.
Line of Succession:
Now here’s the interesting part. Given that the Vice President would no longer fall within the line of succession, the Constitution mandates that the Speaker of the House become the next President of the United States. If Democrats win the House this November, which they very well could, then the Speaker of the House would be a Democrat.
While House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is the likely choice as Speaker, there are no rules mandating who the House must choose for their speakership. In fact, there are no rules indicating that a fellow member of Congress must be the Speaker. A quick check of the House.Gov website confirms this:
Although the Constitution does not require the Speaker to be a member of the House, all Speakers have been members. When a Congress convenes for the first time, each major party conference or caucus nominates a candidate for Speaker.
If Mueller’s probe indicates that Trump and Pence both committed crimes, and especially if it shows that Trump was likely elected because of Russia’s interference, the House could vote in whoever they’d like, including, you guessed it, Hillary Clinton. She would then become the person next in line for the presidency after VP Mike Pence.
Timing is key in all of this however. If Pence or Trump are convicted and removed at different times, then the whole scenario would be null and void. If Pence is removed first then Trump could appoint a new Vice President. If Trump is removed first, then Pence becomes President, perhaps only briefly, but he could also appoint a new Vice President who would then fall ahead of the Speaker of the House in the line of succession.
Also, if the House decided to appoint Mrs. Clinton as Speaker immediately following their swearing in in January, Republicans will likely accuse them of plotting to impeach the President and Vice President in order to force a failed candidate into office. Democrats would be better off waiting until the last minute, as the Senate is ready to convict, in order to appoint Clinton to the Speakership. This of course would be met with tremendous blowback from those supporting whoever the current Democratic Speaker is at the time.
Although this scenario is possible, almost certainly it won’t happen. It would not only require perfect timing and of course the evidence to convict both Pence and Trump in the Senate, but also a willingness by Democrats to do something never done before in the history of this nation, vote in a non-member of Congress as Speaker of the House.