Legal Experts Call For Trump's Impeachment

President Donald Trump has been in office for less than a month, and people are already calling for him to be impeached.

A petition calling for Trump's impeachment has over 600,000 signatures.

Politicians have also joined this discussion.

On Monday, Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters of California mentioned the topic of impeachment on three separate occasions: once at a press conference, then in an interview with Teen Vogue and finally in a video she posted to Twitter.

Legal experts are also arguing there are justifiable reasons for impeachment due to the foreign emoluments clause.

In an op-ed for Time, James C. Nelson (a retired Justice of the Montana Supreme Court and a member of the Legal Advisory Committee for Free Speech For People) and John Bonifaz (co-founder and president of Free Speech For People) wrote,

If you haven't heard of the foreign emoluments clause, Nelson and Bonifaz state, "You're not alone."

They go on to explain,

They have a point.

Trump has business ties in countries across the globe.

Even though Trump has claimed he's distanced himself from his businesses, documents show he's still benefiting from them.

The documents were obtained via a public records request from ProPublica, an investigative news service, and first reported by the New York Times.

Correspondingly, as Nelson and Bonifaz highlight,

But is all of this enough to lead to Trump's impeachment?

Not quite.

Here's what would need to happen for Trump to get impeached.

According to the US Constitution, Congress has the power to put certain public officials (like the president) on trial and remove them from office.

Impeachment is essentially a formal charge of misconduct against the president.

In order for a president to be impeached, someone in the House of Representatives must introduce a resolution either calling for impeachment or an inquiry into allegations of misconduct.

Typically, it's up to the House Committee on the Judiciary to investigate the pertinent allegations.

If it's determined there are grounds for impeachment, the House then votes.

A majority of the House must vote for impeachment in order for the process to move forward.

If this occurs, the Senate then holds a formal impeachment trial and votes on whether to convict the president of the charges.

Members of the House, typically from the Judiciary Committee, act as prosecutors during this process and manage the Senate trial.

Two-thirds of the Senate must vote in favor of conviction in order for a president to be removed from office.

Only two presidents have been impeached: President Bill Clinton and President Andrew Johnson.

Both were acquitted in the Senate.

So, no POTUS has ever been removed from office via impeachment and conviction.

AP Archive on YouTube

President Richard Nixon famously resigned after facing impeachment in relation to the Watergate

In short, impeachments are very rare.

With that said, it seems very improbable Trump will be impeached anytime soon.

Republicans currently control Congress (with a majority in the House and the Senate).

At the moment, Trump has certainly done things individual Republicans have spoken out against, but hasn't done enough to sway mass numbers against him.

If a Democratic representative attempted to charge Trump with misconduct and move toward impeachment, it would be a waste of time.

They'd need Republicans on their side, and that's not likely to happen.

Not to mention, even Democrats aren't totally on board with impeaching Trump quite yet.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi recently stated,

There's no question Trump is a controversial leader, and, based on approval polls, he's the most unpopular new president in US history.

Still, impeachment seems to be a very slim possibility at present.

This doesn't mean it couldn't happen in the future.

Citations: Time (Legal Scholars: Why Congress Should Impeach Donald Trump), It would take two things to impeach Donald Trump, and right now his critics have neither (Quartz)