ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS 10)—This week’s impeachment trial will decide whether or not former President Donald Trump will be convicted for incitement of insurrection after the Capitol Hill riot that took place back in January.
“There is debate amongst constitutional scholars about whether or not a former president can be impeached,” explained Carl Bon Tempo, UAlbany Associate Professor of History.
While the former president’s lawyers argued to dismiss the articles of impeachment, the senate ultimately voting this evening that the trial is constitutional and will be moving forward.
“What we talk to students about generally is the idea that impeachment is going to become increasingly more and more of the political process. It seems easy. Now conviction, right the senate part of the trial, is not simple in anyway,” said Beau Breslin, Skidmore Political Science Professor.
The first president to be impeached was Andrew Johnson and it wasn’t until 130 years later that President Bill Clinton would also be impeached. Fast forward to 2021 and now, President Trump is going through his 2nd impeachment trial in just a matter of 13 months. So far, none of the presidents have been convicted.
“The trial may be about events that took place in the past, but it really is in effect, looking towards the future,” explained Bon Tempo.
Bon Tempo said in someways, it’s about the future of the republican party— whether or not republicans will want to remain associated with Trump and his base.
“I think at the end of the day, there won’t be any conviction,” stated Breslin. “There will be a little bit of political theater between now and Sunday, and then the vote will go largely along partisan lines.”
If Trump is in fact convicted, he would no longer be able to hold federal office. The impeachment trial is set to resume Wednesday afternoon.