What is impeachment and can the US president be removed from office?


What is impeachment and can the US president be removed from office?

On the first charge, Mitt Romney defied his fellow Republicans, becoming the first senator in US history to vote to convict a President from their own party.

The Senate now has 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats and two independents who usually vote with the Democrats. Conviction and removal of a president would require 67 votes. So, for Mr Trump to be removed from office via impeachment, at least 20 Republicans and all the Democrats and independents would have to vote against him.

The Republican majority in the Senate could vote to immediately dismiss the charges against Mr Trump without considering evidence.

Can the 25th Amendment be used to remove Trump?

Ms Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, the Democratic Party leaders in the US House of Representatives and Senate respectively, publicly called on Mike Pence, the US vice president, to invoke the 25th Amendment, a mechanism that removes a president who is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office”.

Such a move would need to be backed by Mr Pence and a majority of Mr Trump’s cabinet. There were media reports on Thursday that some cabinet members were discussing the possibility, but it remained unclear how seriously it was being considered.

John Kelly, Mr Trump’s former chief of staff, on Thursday called on the cabinet to meet to discuss removing the president and said he would vote for removal if he was still a cabinet member. But Lindsey Graham, a Republican senator who has been close to Mr Trump throughout his presidency, came out against invoking the 25th Amendment. 

Read more: What is the 25th Amendment?

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