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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Monday, January 22, 2018

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Trump’s impeachment might be a distant possibility

But White House lawyers don’t want to be unprepared

Share on Facebook May 21, 2017, Reporter : BNN, Reader : 405

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WASHINGTON, U.S. - Following a turbulent week at the White House, now reports claim that White House lawyers are preparing for the worst.
White House lawyers have reportedly begun researching impeachment procedures in an effort to prepare for a possible attempt to remove President Donald Trump from office. > BNN
Former senator and Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said on Friday night that the GOP is nowhere near supporting such a move.
He noted, “Unlike Democrats, who will never break with a president, no matter what they do - I mean I don't care, they can find him with a smoking gun and a picture, they wouldn't break with him - Republicans will. So I would say this to President Trump: This can't continue for a whole lot longer."
Santorum added that the White House is trying to "change the narrative" by focusing on Trump's first foreign trip as President to the Middle East. 
Adding, "hopefully that will begin to give some comfort to Republicans that he's actually interested in being president and doing something positive for the country."
A report in CNN claimed that lawyers in the White House counsel's office have consulted experts in impeachment during the past week and have begun collecting information on how such proceedings would work.
The report, citing sources also revealed that White House officials believe the President has the backing of Republican allies in Congress and that impeachment is not in the cards.
Following two weeks of outrageous actions, U.S. President Donald Trump has found himself in a place where not many American Presidents have been before.
Still, as talks of his impeachment moved from being a mere conspiracy theory discussed in hushed circles to an actual reality taking birth on the House floor on Wednesday, not many raised eyebrows. 
The possibility of Trump’s impeachment was first discussed even before he officially claimed the White House. 
However, the last two weeks and the revelations that have been made have led his administration to a point where the likelihood of his ouster might soon become a reality. 
Currently, there is a website with over 976,000 signatures on a petition encouraging Congress to impeach Trump. 
A Twitter handle called, ‘Impeach Donald Trump’ also exists and is wildly popular on the microblogging site. 
However, many experts claim that with both houses of Congress controlled by a Republican majority, Trump’s impeachment might be a distant possibility.
According to the U.S. constitution, a president "shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes or misdemeanours.”
An impeachment process has to be initiated by the House of Representatives and needs a simple majority to pass, following which, a trial will be set in the Senate - where a two-thirds vote is necessary for his removal.
Incidentally, this milestone has never been reached in America's history.
According to Lawfare Blog, Trump could technically be accused of violations of his oath of office to "preserve, protect, and defend" the U.S. constitution.
However, since the Republicans control the House by 238 to 193 and they control the Senate by 52 to 46, plus two independents - in addition the vast majority of Republicans are loyal to President Trump despite his sinking approval ratings - the likelihood is still very low. 
Following the revelations this week, Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal said, "It may well produce impeachment proceedings."
Meanwhile, Kentucky Rep. John Yarmuth said, “We're actually pretty close to considering impeachment.”
And Texas Democrat Al Green,“He has committed an impeachable act and must be charged.”
California Democrat Maxine Waters said, “We don't have to be afraid to use the word impeachment. We don't have to think impeachment is out of our reach."
Prominent Republican leader John McCain, who is a staunch critic of the Trump and the Chairman of the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee, has said, "I think we've seen this movie before. I think it appears at a point where it's of Watergate size and scale... the shoes continue to drop, and every couple days there's a new aspect.”
In all this, political punters are already voting with their wallets after bookmakers reported that Trump is odds-on to depart the White House during his first term, weighted under a cloud of controversy.
According to online betting site BetVictor, following the revelations made this week, the site saw large amounts of money being placed on Donald Trump’s presidency to end in 2017 at odds of 3-1. 
The online bookmaker says it expects the odds to shorten further in the next 48 hours or so, adding, “We were forced to cut him to 2-1 and support has continued this morning and Trump is now 7-4 to leave office this year, after the latest in a litany of scandals to have rocked the White House during his short administration.”
Meanwhile, Irish bookmaker Paddy Power said, odds are now 2-1 that Trump will be impeached before the end of his first term, with treason (10-3) the most likely reason, followed by tax evasion (4-1), perjury (7-1) and bribery (10-1).
As the week drew to an end however, some leading Democrats have cooled talk of impeachment.
Senior Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, telling reporters, “No one ought to, in my view, rush to embrace the most extraordinary remedy that involves the removal of the president from office.”
Earlier this week, Democrat Congressman Al Green called for Trump’s impeachment on the floor of the House. 
On Wednesday, he said, “This is where I stand. I will not be moved. The president must be impeached.”
The proposal to impeach him would be based on whether Trump has committed a crime if he’s found to have attempted to interfere with the FBI investigation.
While some experts believe that his actions amount to an obstruction of justice, others claim there is insufficient evidence to prosecute.

 

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