Trump’s Impeachment: The Chances of His Conviction and the Consequences

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Glen Stubbe/The Star Tribune

Trump visits Mankato, Minnesota

Cayden Mayer, Staff Writer

After President Trump’s second impeachment in the House on January 13, 2020, the big question now is what will happen in the Senate? Trump’s impeachment was confirmed after all Democrats and 10 Republicans in the House voted to impeach, making it a 232-197 vote. This is an increase from his previous impeachment in which the vote was 230-197. This increase could signal that more Republicans are ready to turn away from President Trump as his term comes to an end. However, the House only needs a simple majority of more than 50 percent, while the Senate needs at least 67 percent or 2/3 of the votes to convict.

Looking forward to the likelihood of a conviction, the Democrats would need 27 Republicans to vote with them to convict, and right now, the odds are looking slim. So far, only five Republican senators are predicted to vote for a conviction: Mitt Romney, Ben Sasse, Pat Toomey, Lisa Murkowski, and Susan Collins. For many in the GOP right now, concerns of angering Trump’s still loyal base outweigh any other concerns. After the January 6 attack on the Capitol, some moderate Republicans or centrists may have lost support for Trump, but the majority of his base remains stronger than ever.

When asked by reporters about his role in the Capitol attack, Trump continued to stand by his actions.

“They’ve analyzed my speech and my words and my final paragraph, my final sentence, and everybody to the T thought it was totally appropriate,” Trump said before leaving for Texas. 

“They’ve analyzed my speech and my words and my final paragraph, my final sentence, and everybody to the T thought it was totally appropriate.”

— President Trump

This action forces other Republicans to either stand beside the president or condemn his words before the attack on the Capitol. Those thinking about running for president in 2024 or for higher offices must consider if it is worth it to turn his base against them before their campaign has even started. Another factor is that the proposed Senate trial date is after his term ends, putting the legality of impeaching him in even larger question. The odds are slim that the Democrats will father the remaining 22 Republicans needed for the conviction they want.

So what would happen if he was convicted? Well, one of the largest consequences would be barring him from holding any federal office in the future. He would also not receive the benefits a former president would usually receive, including a pension, secret service detail, and more. It would also shift the drive behind the modern GOP for a long time. If the GOP supported a conviction and 27 Republicans voted to convict, this would signal a large shift away from the Trump based policies and campaigns that the GOP has supported over the past four years. Many of the news stations, like Fox News, OAN, and Newsmax, that have staunchly supported President Trump would have to either split away from supporting him or turn their backs on the GOP. Overall, many of the Republican Party norms that we have seen over the past four years would be up in the air, and the Party could drastically change its course going forward.