Emporia State professor: Impeachment of Trump inevitable, conviction highly unlikely Featured

Nancy Pelosi (left), Donald Trump Nancy Pelosi (left), Donald Trump Official photos

With proceedings moving towards formal impeachment of President Donald Trump, perhaps as soon as this month, Emporia State University political science professor Michael Smith says Thursday's announcement about drafting the articles of impeachment was unavoidable.


Smith tells KVOE News America is "deeply divided along political and ideological lines," and the ongoing impeachment discussions reflect that division.

Since July, Trump has been under investigation after urging Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden's son and his relationship with a Ukrainian gas company while withholding almost $400 million in military aid. Three Congressional panels that investigated the dealings say evidence of presidential misconduct and resulting obstruction of Congress is "overwhelming," and several law professors say Trump committed impeachable offenses.

Republicans on the investigating committees, meanwhile, released their own report saying the president has the authority to direct foreign policy as he chooses.

For his part, Smith believes there were violations. The question to him, though, is whether they are impeachable. With no direct guidance from the Constitution aside from "high crimes and misdemeanors," lawmakers have to rely on other avenues for a framework.



If articles of impeachment are indeed drafted, as is now likely, the House needs a simple majority to send the matter to the Senate for a formal trial -- and that is likely with Democrats holding the majority. A conviction would require a two-thirds vote in the Senate. Republicans have the majority in the Senate, so a conviction is unlikely there.

If Trump is impeached and later acquitted, Smith says there is no guarantee he wins re-election next year.

Trump would be just the third American president to be impeached if the House approves. Impeachment efforts failed against Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, while Richard Nixon resigned before proceedings were finalized.

9 am Thursday: House Speaker officially pushes for articles of impeachment against President Trump

Saying there is no choice but to advance, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says her chamber needs to move forward with articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.


Pelosi says Trump abused his power for his political benefit and violated the Constitution in the process. Trump, meanwhile, has called prior hearings on the topic part of a sham and he called on Democrats to impeach him quickly so he can "get back to business."

Since July, Trump has been under investigation after urging Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden's son and his relationship with a Ukrainian gas company while withholding almost $400 million in military aid. Three Congressional panels that investigated the dealings say evidence of presidential misconduct and resulting obstruction of Congress is "overwhelming," and several law professors say Trump committed impeachable offenses. Republicans on the investigating committees, meanwhile, released their own report this week saying the president has the authority to direct foreign policy as he chooses.

If articles of impeachment are indeed drafted, as is now likely, the House needs a simple majority to send the matter to the Senate for a formal trial. A conviction would require a two-thirds vote in the Senate.

Trump would be just the third American president to be impeached if the House approves. Impeachment efforts failed against Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, while Richard Nixon resigned before proceedings were finalized.

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Last modified on Friday, 06 December 2019 12:18