JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

Could Trump Be Impeached Before Inauguration? It's Very Unlikely

By
Share

Following this year's vicious presidential election and its unexpected outcome, many experts and a good percentage of the nation may be left wondering if there are any ways that Donald Trump could be impeached before Inauguration Day. Since Nov. 8, many have been concerned about a few things, like Trump's alleged friendliness with Russian President Vladimir Putin, a $25 million deal to settle various Trump University fraud lawsuits, his controversial Cabinet picks, any plans in place to manage Trump's vast business empire, and all those sexual assault allegations that surfaced in the finals months before Election Day. Trump has denied all of the sexual assault or harassment allegations against them, saying the women are lying and that he doesn't know any of them and Romper reached out to Trump's team for comment on the other concerns and is awaiting a response.

After such an unprecedented election, the question isn't a unrealistic one to ask. In fact, the day after the election results were announced, Google searches on how to impeach a president skyrocketed.

But the probability of it happening is very unlikely and that's because an impeachment is primarily a political decision, rather than a public one. And this would be very difficult to argue with Congress, because Republicans will soon run the show in Washington D.C. and the reason to impeach a president would mostly have to be a problem with them.

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images
US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump visits the model of the Oval Office at the Gerald Ford Presidential Musuem in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on September 30, 2016.

It's a tricky legal system we have in place for an impeachment to happen here in the United States and many of the allegations and reported concerns surrounding Trump would be hard to try. This is because no president in history has been "impeached for misdeeds committed prior to taking office," according to Vanity Fair.

For reference, only two U.S. Presidents have been impeached by the House of Representatives — Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998— and both were later acquitted by the Senate. President Richard Nixon resigned in August 1974, before Congress could impeach him.

AP Archive on YouTube

Although that has been the case in this nation's 240-year history, some legal experts believe there is already sufficient evidence to impeach Trump.

Back in September, University of Utah Law Professor Christopher Lewis Peterson wrote that he believes that Trump has committed fraud and racketeering related to Trump University and could be impeached for them as "high crimes and misdemeanors," which falls under an article in the United States Constitution.

According to Politico, Trump's attorneys have "denied any fraud" and have argued that "any inflated boasts about Trump University were, at worst, the kind of sales 'puffery' that courts have found not to be legally actionable."

Scott Gries/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
NEW YORK - JANUARY 10: Donald Trump gestures as he poses for a photo during an in-store appearance to sign copies of 'How To Build Wealth,' which is a series of nine audio business courses created by Trump University, at a Barnes & Noble store January 10, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images)

Trump getting impeached before he takes office on Jan. 20 is simply not likely. But, given how many Americans are unhappy with the outcome of the presidential election, it's a safe guess that many will be keeping close tabs on the president-elect well after he moves into the Oval Office.