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VERIFY: What happens if Congress impeaches President Trump a second time?

A second impeachment is an uncharted territory for Congress. It likely will include a trial after the president leaves office.

WASHINGTON — What could happen next to President Donald Trump? Following his supporters’ assault on the Capitol, we’ve seen renewed calls to impeach and remove him from office.

This will all be uncharted territory. No president has ever been impeached twice, and no president has ever been tried after leaving office.


How quickly could impeachment take place?


As soon as the House of Representatives wants to move forward.

Our Sources:

Allan Lichtman, a distinguished historian from American University and Hans Noel, a political professor from Georgetown University.

What We Found:

According to Professor Lichtman, the House of Representatives could bring articles of impeachment quickly.

"The House can convene and do it in one day,” he said. “That is their sole prerogative. And there's no appeal for an impeachment. No intervention to stop an impeachment. The House decides."

But, if you recall from last year, the trial to remove the president after impeachment is in the Senate.

Professor Noel from Georgetown said it’s not likely the Republican-led Senate will take up a trial with less than two weeks in a presidency. 

Lichtman agrees.

"They can hold a hearing as quick as they want,” Lichtman said. “But remember that's not going to happen.”

If that’s the case then:


After he leaves office could President Trump be impeached and convicted to disqualify him from public office?


Legal experts aren’t sure.

Our Sources:

The Constitution and Robert Peck from the Center for Constitutional Litigation.

What We Found:

Legal experts differ on what could happen. Only one official in history has been impeached and tried after he left office. In 1876, Congress impeached Secretary of War William Belknap after he resigned from office.

However, he was never convicted.

Article 1 Section 3 of the constitution is written so that impeachment and removal should disqualify from serving in office.

But it’s not a requirement, Robert Peck believes Congress must demand the disqualification.

"If that's added to the terms of the impeachment and conviction, then he is ineligible,” he said.

If you have something you want the VERIFY team to look into, email us at verify@wusa9.com

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