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President Trump will conclude his term next week reeling from his second impeachment since taking office in 2017. A bipartisan vote in the House of Representatives yesterday held him accountable for “inciting” riots which rocked the Capitol on January 6. Landmark though it is, the initial decision to impeach won’t have an immediate effect, but it could eliminate a future career path for the President.
Can Donald Trump run for President in 2024?
Impeachment begins in Congress’ lower chamber, where Democrats and Republicans can decide whether to charge a President with alleged wrongdoing.
Yesterday, 10 Republicans in the House of Representatives joined Democrats in condemning the President for “inciting” riots which followed a “Stop the Steal” rally he attended last week.
The latest article of impeachment is the third Democrats have sent to the Senate, and the last two did not impede President Trump’s political success.
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Although he ultimately lost in last year’s ballot, he secured more votes than in 2016, and the most of any sitting President.
He owes his thanks to the Republican Party, and they remain his only hope as he goes to trial in the Senate.
The GOP struck down efforts to convict Mr Trump in the upper chamber by 52 to 48 in 2019, acquitting him of articles which alleged he abused his position and obstructed Congress.
If they do so again, Mr Trump can run in 2024, but if Republican Senators choose to distance themselves from him, he cannot.
The next Senate trial for Mr Trump will begin once Senators return from recess on January 20.
If they vote to convict, it will be once the President has left office, but even if they do so before it wouldn’t prevent him from running again in 2024.
Neither the House nor Senate can bar Mr Trump from office with an impeachment vote alone.
Doing so would require a different vote further down the line.
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After voting to remove Mr Trump, the Senate could move to establish another on his political future.
A simple majority (51 or more) of Senators would have to agree to vote on whether the President could hold office again.
They could then collectively decide whether or not Mr Trump can run for President again in 2024, or for any other position, whether in the Senate or House of Representatives.
Democrats will have the Senate majority by January 20, but some Republicans may want to prevent their former nominee from running again.
Current Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell is said to have been “furious” with Mr Trump following the Capitol Hill attacks.
Sources have added Mr McConnell may be in favour of impeaching to remove his influence from the GOP.
He has not spoken publicly about impeaching the President, but if he decides to, would be the deciding influence.
A source close to the Senator told CNN: “If Mitch is a yes, he’s done.”
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