Political science professor explains potential effects of impeachment

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — On Tuesday, Vice President Mike Pence declined to use the 25th amendment to remove President Donald Trump from office, and now the house will likely vote to impeach.

So how would impeaching the president affect his ability to run for office again in four years? For that, we turned to Cape Fear Community College political science professor Nelson Beaulieu.

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“In more than 200 years we had two impeachments,” Beaulieu said. “We’ve doubled that in the lifetime of a single administration.”

President Donald Trump could soon be the first US president to be impeached twice, this time for inciting an insurrection. Beaulieu says a move like this is unprecedented.

“To have an impeachment take place this quickly, I’m not aware of any constitutional equivalent or historical equivalent,” he said. “That is just rapid speed.”

Beaulieu believes the chances of the president being removed before inauguration day are slim. So as many have asked, is it worth it?

“In one respect you could view it as a symbolic move, but there are ramifications to impeachment that go beyond the simple removal from office,” Beaulieu said.

He says not only would this tarnish Trump’s legacy, but it could end his political career.

“The president could very well lose his pension, perhaps Secret Service detail,” Beaulieu said. “There’s some debate about whether or not the president would be barred from running for office again, actually that would have to take place with a separate vote.”

Bealieu also says the mere threat of removal from office could discourage Trump from making any questionable decisions during his remaining days as president.

“If the president were to do something like for instance pardoning everybody involved in the capitol riot, the senate could immediately convene and vote on the articles as presented and remove the president from office.”

The house is expected to vote on impeachment Wednesday. How long a senate trial will take is unclear, and could make it difficult for President-elect Joe Biden to get his cabinet members confirmed in a timely fashion.