Will there still be impeachment? Is Donald Trump going on vacation to play golf? The scenarios for the last days of office of the US President at a glance.
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Dismissal or impeachment, resignation or vacation: after Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the US Congress by force, several scenarios for his final days in the presidency are being discussed in Washington.
Withdrawal after the 25th Amendment:
The storming of the Capitol by Trump supporters, who had been incited by himself, has sparked calls for a swift impeachment. These calls come not only from the Democratic Party of President-elect Joe Biden, but also from concerned representatives of civil society who fear, for example, that Trump could plunge the US into a military conflict at the end of his term in office.
The Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, and the Democratic minority leader in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, have called for the immediate removal of Trump because he was responsible for the attack on Congress. Pelosi and Schumer asked Vice President Mike Pence to refer to Amendment 25 of the Constitution, which allows the Vice President and the majority of the Cabinet to remove the President if he is incapacitated. However, there is no evidence that Pence intends to go that route.
The 25th Amendment, adopted in 1967, regulates the transfer of power in the event that a president dies or resigns, or that he can no longer exercise his office for other reasons. The Vice President and the majority of the Cabinet would then have to inform the Chairmen of the Senate and the House of Representatives that the President is incapacitated and the Vice President would become the incumbent president. If the decision is challenged by the president, Congress has the final say. However, a two-thirds majority is required in both chambers of Congress to pass the impeachment of the president.
Another way to impeach the president is the impeachment procedure, a parliamentary removal procedure. In the House of Representatives, the Democrats have already taken the first steps to initiate such a procedure next Monday. As early as December 2019, the Democrats made an attempt to bring Trump down by impeachment.
The background to this was the Ukraine affair. Trump had called on the new Ukrainian head of state Volodymyr Selenskyj to investigate corruption against Biden, who was already emerging as a possible challenger in the presidential election. Trump is said to have withheld US military aid of $ 391 million for Kiev as leverage.
The House of Representatives therefore initiated impeachment proceedings against Trump, the third impeachment against a president in US history. The Senate, which is dominated by Trump’s Republicans, ultimately acquitted Trump of the charge of abuse of office. In the House of Representatives, the Democrats would certainly have a majority in favor of a new impeachment case against Trump. They would probably also attract some Republicans to their side. It would hardly be enough for a two-thirds majority in the Senate. That would require 18 Republican senators to vote with the Democrats. In the last impeachment case, only one did so – Mitt Romney.
Trump would have the option at any time to resign of his own accord and to hand over official business to Pence for the remaining days until January 20. However, there is nothing to suggest that he would like to do that. Trump also deliberately ignores advice from the conservative spectrum, such as the Wall Street Journal, which urged him to “take personal responsibility and resign”. It was “the best for everyone, including himself, if he quietly resigns,” added the commentator on the paper, which belongs to Rupert Murdoch’s media empire.
Such a withdrawal need not necessarily be linked to a declaration of withdrawal. Washington is also considering the possibility that Trump could go on vacation. The closest thing to the idea is that Trump would fly to his Florida possessions to play golf, as he has loved to keep in the past.
Remaining in office until January 20th:
Of course, Trump could stay in office until the end of his mandate. According to information from the “New York Times”, the president plans to travel to the border between the USA and Mexico in the coming week to advertise his immigration and isolationist policies there.
The outgoing president is said to have even expressed the wish for a farewell interview, although he often teased the media with rage. One thing is already certain: Trump will not take part in Biden’s inauguration in disregard of the customs of US democracy. “I will not come to the inauguration on January 20,” Trump tweeted in advance.