Countdown from January 10, 2021 to January 20, 2021

Lubna Kabir

“Abhi to khela shuru holo”- wrote a khalu of mine from Dhaka, on my Facebook page, a few hours after the white domestic terrorist raided Capitol Hill. Yes, as Sherlock Holmes likes to say “The game is afoot”. Four things can happen from January 11 to January 20, 2021 and some of these will happen in parallel.

Path A: Republican cabinet can activate the 25th amendment. This amendment allows Vice President Mike Pence, with the support of the cabinet to remove the President. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has given Vice President Mike Pence 24 hours to do this. The deadline is Tuesday January 12.

• Mike Pence has to write a letter to Senator Grassley (Republican) and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Democrat) that “President Trump is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” That would immediately strip Mr. Trump of the powers of his office and make Mr. Pence the acting president.

• Next Trump can write another letter to Grassley and Pelosi saying that he is in fact able to perform his duties. That would immediately allow him to resume his duties, unless Pence and the cabinet send another declaration to Grassley & Pelosi within four days restating their concerns. Mike Pence would take over again as acting president.

• That declaration would require Congress to assemble within 48 hours and to vote within 21 days. If two-thirds of members of both the House and the Senate agreed that Mr. Trump was unable to continue as president, he would be stripped permanently of the position, and Mr. Pence would continue serving as acting president. If the vote in Congress fell short, Mr. Trump is still President.

• Removal by 25th amendment still allows Trump to be a candidate for President office in 2024.

Path B: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi bring Impeachment Amendment to the House of Representatives. This first needs to be had simple majority in the House. Since the Democrats control the House, it will pass. It will then have to go to the Senate. In the Senate the Impeachment trail needs 66 Senator’s votes. The 117th Congress was sworn in on January 3, 2021. There are 50 Democrats and 50 Republican senators. That means all the Democrats have to vote for the Impeachment and bring over 12 Republican opponents.

Over the weekend January 9-10, small group of Democratic representative and senators have already drafted the Impeachment paper. Even while Mike Pence has the 24 hours to consider “Path A”, the draft Impeachment papers will be circulated from Monday January 11, 2021 to various committee heads. Speaker Pelosi will have it ready to bring to the floor on January 12.

Path A is more complicated but both can be done by January 20, 2021. If on January 19, 2021 Path A or Path B fully happens, it means he did not finish his term like a normal one-term President. He was removed from office.

• Removal by Impeachment still allows Trump to be a candidate for President office in 2024.

• Only if the Impeachment paper specifically says “disqualify Trump from future office” then he can not run for office in 2024.

Path C: President Trump can resign. In the past, President Richard Nixon resigned on his own before the Impeachment. This is quickest. Mike Pence can even make an arrangement (make a deal) with Trump that he will “pardon him for any crimes that future Congress or Senate find against him.”

Mike Pence will become President and he can grant pardon to Trump and any others who were involved in the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol.

Path D: Trump can continue to be President and completely pardon all the people who were involved in the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol and he can pardon his advisors and family members. Though it has never been done before, there is a possibility that Trump can pardon himself.

Path E: Continued attack on the Capitol building in DC, or any other government property in any city, or large street protests by Trump supporters in any city can happen. This will heighten and quicken Path A, B or C.

A public poll was taken by YouGov which does many types of polls among registered voters. 50% of all voters polled agree, saying they think it would be appropriate for Donald Trump to be removed from office immediately because of what happened on January 6, 2021. Another 42% believe that such an action would be inappropriate.

Voters are still very divided: 83% of Democrats say they think it is appropriate to remove Trump from office. 85% of Republicans say they believe this would be inappropriate.

• Lubna Kabir, New Jersey USA.

• Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the position of Banglavision online news portal.

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