Trump is impeached. How quickly, or even could he be removed before the election?

Let’s say that Trump does, indeed get impeached by both houses. Whether you think this is likely or not, for the purposes of this thread it happens. The evidence is so damning and conclusive that enough Republicans are on board with doing it. So, first question…how quickly could it happen if that’s the case? Let’s say a total bombshell falls (I think several have already fallen at this point, but something REALLY big…so big that it’s incontrovertible), say, next week. How quickly would/could the process go to impeach him, and then remove him? What time frame might we be looking at, realistically, given the scenario above?

Is there even enough time, if it all comes together, to impeach and remove Trump before the election? If that does happen, what happens to Trump’s current re-election run? I assume…and this might be a bad assumption, which is why I’m asking…that if he’s impeached, he can’t continue his campaign. Is that true?

This stuff is probably more GQ type questions, with some Pit and GD thrown in for how contentious this might be, but what I’d like to hear is more fact based answers. Since it’s about Trump and the election, this seemed to be the right forum.

That’s a fair question. Now that you mention it I am wondering myself. If these were normal times, the House and the Senate could speed up the process if the Senate gave word through back channels that removal was a slam dunk. But the Senate GOP is not to be trusted, so even in this situation the House might need to formally investigate all of its best leads to their conclusions so the Senate can’t renege and be like “that’s all you have? LAME! Innocent!”

There are no particular due process requirements that take time and there are no appeals from conviction in the Senate. If Republican Senators came on board with removal, it could likely happen within a few days. The “if” there is so big, it could collapse into a star under its own gravity.

I don’t think that’s really knowable considering no president has ever been removed from office.

My impression is the Democrats want to get the impeachment part over as quickly as possible but that might not be possible before the end of the year if that.

The Senate? Who knows? As long as they want it to. In the unlikely scenario that the senate has the evidence and will to remove him, as in your imagined case, probably a few months? Clinton was acquitted in 6 months so it seems reasonable that a removal could take at least that long. I seen no tactical advantages for the republicans to drag a lose out to right before the elections. I can see a case for acquitting a month before the elections, a removal, no. That leaves zero time for a plan B.

I was thinking along the same lines. What would happen If a president running for reelection is removed from office before the election? Suppose it’s only a month or two before. They really wouldn’t have time to get a new candidate in place. Would they have primaries? Or how would the nominee be selected? Or leave the president on the ballot, and have the electorial college work it out. They could select anybody.

Well, you can’t reinstate Trump if he’s removed. I have a feeling in such a late breaking scenario, that Pence would be “default republican candidate”. Few republicans are going to really want to run a month after Trump was removed from office, and Pence sort of has an obligation to carry on like Ford did.

The Senate could vote to disqualify him from future public office in addition to removing him. So if conviction happens late in the campaign, then Republicans will just have to nominate someone else. If it’s too late to get on the ballot in some states, tough cookies. Hitch your wagon to an untamed horse and you take a chance on wiping out.

The timeline for the Clinton impeachment was this:

So … ~4 months from formal vote to open the impeachment inquiry to final vote in the Senate.

Yeah, they’ve got plenty of time to get it done before the election. The Senate has the option, but is not required, to impose a punishment that bars the President from holding office again. If they did so, and if it were late enough that the Republicans couldn’t decide on a candidate and get him on the ballot in some states, I don’t know. I suspect you’d have some emergency appeal court cases.

A fun interactive. It starts with defaults set to at Clinton and Nixon baselines. With that as the default we are looking at acquittal (or conviction I guess) on March 23.

Assuming such huge bombshells that support for impeachment conviction is 50% or more even within GOP voting groups, yet Trump would not resign, then one would suppose that GOP leadership would want to speed it along, to have at least some time to choose a candidate.There is no reason it could not go very fast. Why not by mid January? House puts on its show and the Senate trial is kept for a short as leaders think the public will tolerate.
A party can change its bylaws for choosing a candidate anytime they want. There is no Constitutional requirement to have a primary and/or caucus system. Each state’s leadership could select delegates and those delegates could decide at an open convention on short notice if need be.

Note the similar circumstance could be created if Trump drops dead of a heart attack or stroke in late September or in October. How is it chosen who is their nominee? The VP candidate or the runner up in the nomination process, such as it was, or what?

I think the answer is anywhere between “less than a few days” and “never”, depending on the political calculation in the Senate, since there is no defined time limits on the process.

Hypothetically, a scenario where Trump is revealed with out a doubt to be a North Korean plant, caught trying to supply them with the nuclear launch codes (with video evidence, multiple confessions, etc) would get the process moving pretty quickly.

Anything less than incontrovertible evidence that the president represents a clear and imminent danger is going to have the process time decided almost soley upon:

  1. current Trump approval ratings for Republican voters in the individual Republican senator’s states, especially during primary season for senators subject to reelection

  2. current Trump approval ratings for all voters in the individual Republican senator’s states (or for senators like Joe Manchin who need to court republican & independent voters), especially after primary season for senators subject to reelection.

  3. How well the individual senator thinks that dragging the process out (“let’s hear more evidence!” “the election is only xx months away, let’s let the people decide!” “We need more time to dig up dirt on all the witnesses!”) is going to influence 1 & 2 above, weighed against the risk of future new bombshells dropping.

Found this from 2008. Should apply as well to removal by resignation or impeachment as well.

Only one house has the power of impeachment.

Could the Senate just decide to never hold the trial portion?

In an ideal world, the House would impeach in the morning, the Senate would convict after lunch, and John Roberts would bang his gavel onto a trap door release button.

I’m pretty sure Trump could still run for another term unless explicitly barred from doing so. Impeachment only removes one from office.

As for the timeline, I always assumed it would be effectively instantaneous. Once the Senate convicts, that should be it right there, and then it is, “Sir, we are here to escort you out of the White House. Sigh yes you can bring your phone.”

Constitution I.3.7: “Judgment in Cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States”

I’ve seen some discussion here and there on whether the disqualification is part and parcel of removal, or whether it requires an explicit addition - not sure there’s a firm legal decision there?

Huh. You are right.

So the Senate could vote to convict and to remove but not to disqualify and the GOP could leave him in place as the nominee … if the convention was already held they might not have any choice but to?

I think a lot of the responses have been fighting the hypothetical, arguing about how long the Senate will drag out the trial. The stated assumption is that something happens (or is publicly revealed) that is big enough for a sufficient percentage of Republicans to be behind convicting Trump and removing him from office.

That leaves the question as “How long will the process take?”

The House would still have to have hearings and depositions, draw up the formal Articles of Impeachment, and vote on them. Depending on the charges, there would likely be lots of smaller fish to catch in the net, so there would be referrals to investigative agencies as facts were established. Barring extraordinary circumstances, even with a slam-dunk case, I would expect them to take at least a month to get the ducks in a row. With the holiday season coming up, if they don’t call special sessions, the formalities could stretch into January.

The Senate, by contrast, could potentially do its part in a day or two: read the Articles, review key evidence, allow the defense to present its case, then vote. The defense lawyers could try to drag it out some by pounding on the table, but I doubt they’d be allowed to do so for long. Whatever else may be said of Roberts, he’s been a judge long enough to recognize stall tactics when he sees them.

Once the Senate votes, that’s all she wrote. Article II, Section 4 says:

By my reading, that “on…Conviction” means removal is effective instantly when the vote is tallied. At that moment, the former President is stripped of all authority, and whoever is next in line at that moment becomes President.

All of that is to address how long the process would probably take. However, it suggests a much lower minimum time. The Constitution doesn’t specify anything about the trial itself; technically, the Senate doesn’t have to allow defense arguments at all. If we posit a hypothetical piece of evidence that clearly marks the President as a clear and present danger to the US, the process could theoretically take place as fast as you could convene both chambers and shuttle Roberts over to the Senate to preside. The Speaker could write a one-liner Articles of Impeachment on the way (“The President, having declared on live television that he would order a nuclear strike against one U.S. city per day until a Constitutional amendment is passed making him President for life, has demonstrated that he is unfit to hold the office of the Presidency.”). The House is called to order and votes as soon as a quorum is in their seats, unanimously approving the articles and sending them to the Senate. As soon as the Chief Justice is in place, the Articles are read, the Chief Justice decrees whatever formalities he considers appropriate (probably minimal, under the circumstances), and then the vote is held.

If both houses are already in session, the biggest time factor could theoretically be “How long does it take the Chief Justice to cross the street?”

If he is convicted by the senate, Pence would immediately become president. As for Trump’s campaign, I assume Pence would step into the top spot, choose someone as his VP, and things would keep rolling right along.

If he were eliminated in the last couple of weeks, and it comes with ineligibility for re-election, and it is too late to eliminate him from the ballot, Pence could still win because I assume that the Electors that were pledged to the now-invalid Trump on the ballot could vote instead for Pence and another player to be named later in the unlikely event that they should win enough Electors in this chaotic situation.

Speaking of which, I wonder if that still holds in the even more unlikely scenario where Taliban Trump is impeached after a successful reelection. I assume the GOP - even if not Trump himself - would still win the Presidency, due to the Electoral College.