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January 14, 2021

Congress may bar future presidential bid by Trump

Top Story

January 14, 2021

ISLAMABAD: In addition to losing retirement benefits, US President Trump may face Congressional action barring him from a future presidential bid in case he is removed from office under the 25th Amendment. Trump is on the record having said if he does concede loss to president elect Joe Biden, his concession speech will launch his presidential bid for 2024.

On Wednesday, Trump downplayed any risk of him being ousted through the process laid down in the 25th Amendment for the removal of a president by his own cabinet. Earlier on Tuesday, Vice President Mike Pence wrote to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declaring he has no intention of invoking the 25th Amendment to end President Trump’s term early.

The 25th has been seen as the best shot at removing Trump from presidency fast. If, however, Trump is spared the sword of the 25th, the Democrats still have the option to oust Trump through an impeachment. If that happens, Trump will no longer be eligible to be called ‘former president’ and all the benefits will be taken away.

Financial benefits which President Trump stands to lose in case of removal from office through impeachment include a monthly pension at the rate applicable to the head of an executive department and office staff with an aggregate salary up to $96,000 per year; office space appropriately furnished and equipped; and security as well as travel related expenses up to $1,000,000 per year which also covers Secret Service protection.

A former president’s widow is also entitled to receiving $20,000 in annual pension in case of President’s. However, the widow of a president removed from office under the 25th Amendment is not entitled to it. Trump has already been impeached once unsuccessfully on charges of abuse of power. This time around, he is facing the much more weighty charge of ‘incitement of insurrection’ after rightwing protesters egged on by him went on to attack the Capitol.

If the Democrats bring an impeachment motion and its fails, Trump will not lose the title of ‘former president’ and will enjoy all retirement benefits. The same goes if Trump is impeached before January 20 but convicted after January 20 because a president who has left the office on completion of his term cannot be removed from it.

The president of the United States is not considered ‘former president’ if his service was terminated by removal pursuant to ‘section 4 of Article II of the Constitution of the United States of America’. Article II, Section 4 reads “The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on Impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors."