Can a President Be Impeached Twice? What Trump's Second Impeachment Means

President Donald Trump is set to face an impeachment trial for the second time, but what does that mean and what are the consequences of it?

Sara Belcher - Author

Jan. 11 2021, Published 8:48 p.m. ET

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After the frightening storm of the Capitol building that happened on Jan. 6, President Donald Trump is facing a barrage of disciplinary actions. The rioters who stormed the building were gathered outside of Capitol Hill to protest the verification of the electoral college votes that — even after countless lawsuits and recounts — confirmed President-elect Joe Biden had won the election.

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As Trump encouraged the gathering — and even told the rioters after they breached the building "We love you. You're very special" — many have called for him to be held accountable for the riot.

While it's not likely the 25th Amendment will be invoked by Vice President Mike Pence, it looks as though Trump is facing a second impeachment trial. But what are the consequences of this?

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Has a U.S. president ever been impeached twice?

To start simply: No. This has never happened before.

That being said, there's nothing in the Constitution that prevents a sitting president from being impeached twice. In fact, a president can be impeached as many times as Congress deems fit, as the Constitution does not put a limit on it.

By introducing the articles of impeachment, it means the House of Representatives is set to vote on whether the president actively participated in a criminal offense. A majority needs to rule in favor for the movement to be passed to the Senate, which determines whether or not to convict and remove him from office.

The House is set to vote on charges of “inciting violence against the government of the United States," per Reuters, on Jan. 13.

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Will Trump be removed from office?

Between calls for his resignation and other moves to oust the president immediately, some are wondering if this second impeachment will effectively remove him from office. And the answer depends entirely on whether he's convicted in the Senate.

If the House votes to indict the president on criminal offenses (which is highly likely, given the current makeup of the House of Representatives), then the process moves to the Senate.

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The Senate will then vote as to whether or not to convict the president of the charges brought on by the House, and if two-thirds of the Senate vote yes, then he will be convicted and removed from office.

That being said, given how close we are to Biden's inauguration, it's likely the Senate won't convene to vote until after the transfer of power has been completed. The Wall Street Journal reported that all 100 Senators would have to agree to reconvene before Jan. 19 to vote.

This means Trump very likely will not be removed from office. The trial will still likely be completed, even after the transfer of power, as the Senate can still vote to barr him from ever running from office again — a separate vote that only requires a majority of the Senate to take effect.

If the Senate does vote to barr him from office, that means he will not be able to run for reelection in 2024, something that many have said is the primary reasoning behind this second impeachment.

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