It’s been a rollercoaster first two weeks with Donald Trump in the Oval Office.
In less than a fortnight, Trump has already offended Mexicans, offended Australians, offended Muslims and offended women.
The groundswell of anger for some at least is being channelled into efforts to see him marched out of the White House before his tenure is up. The only way that happens is via impeachment.
It’s never been done before but it’s far from impossible. A lawyer for the movement Impeach Donald Trump Now says the wheels are already in motion.
There’s a clause within the US Constitution that allows for a US President to be removed from office for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes or misdemeanours”.
It’s a broad definition of wrongdoing, and some say Trump’s failure to divest his businesses before taking office qualifies as a high crime.
It’s a stretch, but the good news for the impeachment movement is that Congress doesn’t need any actual evidence to proceed with the vote. It simply requires a member to introduce a resolution calling for an impeachment investigation.
From there, voting would get under way in the House of Representatives first. If a majority ruled against Trump, it would proceed to the Senate.
There’s a precedent for that. An impeachment against former president Bill Clinton was initiated in December 1998 after it emerged he had an extramarital affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
Two charges passed the House of Representatives but were defeated in the Senate. Clinton was acquitted on both.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans are already calling for Trump to be impeached. As of February 2, more than 580,000 people had signed a petition on ImpeachDonaldTrumpNow.org.
“No modern president has displayed the casual indifference to the Constitution and the rule of law that President Trump shows. The violations, the corruption, and the threat to our republic are here now, but they will only get worse the longer he stays in office. Americans deserve a President who is not beholden to foreign governments to keep his businesses afloat, and whose decisions about bread-and-butter, not to mention life-and-death matters, will not be used to prop up Trump Towers around the world.” Ron Fein, Free Speech For People.