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Will Donald Trump be impeached again? What could happen if he becomes first president to be charged twice | US News

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Will Donald Trump be impeached again? What could happen if he becomes first president to be charged twice | US News

Donald Trump’s second impeachment could get rolling as soon as Monday, with House Democrats indicating they will introduce the relevant articles following the riots at the US Capitol.

While this will happen only nine days before the inauguration of Joe Biden, legal experts and legislators alike believe there is still time – and a point – to make the 45th president the first to be impeached twice.

But the clock is certainly ticking – fast enough to mean it would prove tough to squeeze in the Senate vote that would be needed to remove Mr Trump from office.

So what will happen if he is impeached for a second time? Sky News answers the key questions.

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How chaos unfolded at the US Capitol

How does impeachment work?

Impeachment starts with a vote in the House of Representatives on the articles of impeachment – basically a list of charges against the president.

If the vote passes with a simple majority (50% + 1), then the president has been impeached and is then subject to a trial in the Senate.

After the trial, the Senate votes on whether to convict and remove the president from office.

This vote requires a two-thirds majority to strip the impeached of the presidency. Given the Republicans controlled the Senate at the time of Mr Trump’s first impeachment, he comfortably managed to stay in power.

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‘Trump committed unspeakable assault on our nation’

What articles could he be impeached with?

The exact wording of the articles is not yet known, but members of the House of Representatives have been circulating copies that charge Mr Trump with “inciting violence against the government of the United States”.

This comes following the deadly riots at that took place at the Capitol in Washington DC on Wednesday following a speech by Mr Trump to his supporters.

His call to the Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger is also mentioned, in which the president asked the official to “find” more than 11,000 votes in order to overturn President-elect Biden’s victory in the state.

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‘Good thing’ Trump won’t be at inauguration

Why are Democrats impeaching him now?

There were calls for Mr Trump to be removed using the 25th amendment to the constitution, but this required the agreement of Vice President Mike Pence and the president’s cabinet – something which has not materialised.

This was done because many Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, considered Mr Trump’s actions so egregious that he needed to be removed immediately.

Impeachment is the next best option in their eyes.

Democrat representative Ilhan Omar says the process is important to set a precedent.

“It’s important to impeach & convict this president even if he has [a] few days left in office,” she tweeted.

“It will set a precedent. We must make it clear that no president can lead an insurrection against the US government.

“What we do today will matter for the rest of this nation’s history.”

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‘Treasonous Trump must go now’, says NYC mayor

Could Trump be stopped from running for president in 2024?

The Senate has the ability to bar people from running for office enshrined in the constitution.

Were senators to vote to remove someone from office, they can also vote to ban the impeached person from ever running for an elected post again. This vote only requires a 50% + 1 majority.

It has been used before in the cases of judges Robert Archbald and West H Humphreys – it is not only presidents who can be impeached.

But It is less certain what would happen if Mr Trump were convicted after he has already left office.

Paul Campos, law professor at the University of Colorado, thinks the Senate would be empowered to vote only on future disqualification.

He added that this scenario would be more likely if the president’s trial is still pending on 20 January, when he finishes his term and Joe Biden is inaugurated.

Trump is said to be considering running for the White House again in 2024 Pic: @realDonaldTrump
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Trump may be barred from ever running for office again – something that he has hinted at doing

Can he pardon himself?

There has been a lot of talk about who Mr Trump has pardoned and who else he could pardon.

But impeachment is something he cannot absolve – not only is it not a criminal proceeding, but the constitution specifically prohibits it.

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Will he keep Secret Service protection?

You are not likely to hear him say it, but Mr Trump has Barack Obama to thank for making sure he has Secret Service protection for the rest of his life.

Mr Trump’s predecessor in the Oval Office signed into law an amendment that ensures lifetime protection for all former leaders of the US.

It does not exclude former rulers for any reason, so it is safe to assume that Mr Trump will still get the protection provided by the US government should he want it.

Will he keep his benefits?

When a president leaves office, they are entitled to a range of benefits at the expense of the taxpayer – including a pension thought to be about $200,000 a year, an annual $1m travel stipend, and money for staff.

However, it is stated in the 1958 Former Presidents Act that these perks are not available for anyone removed from office after being impeached.

So whether Mr Trump is convicted and removed by the Senate – even after he leaves – could have substantial ramifications for him politically and financially.

Could he be prosecuted for his role in the US Capitol riots?

As impeachment is not a legal proceeding, there is no chance of double jeopardy – meaning Mr Trump could still be prosecuted for the same acts that saw him impeached.

The constitution states: “The Party convicted [of impeachment] shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.”

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Former US defence sec calls for Trump to go

Could he be convicted and removed even after leaving the White House?

These are uncharted waters, and not something explicitly spelled out in law or the constitution.

A Civil War era general called William Belknap, when serving as secretary of war, was impeached by the House even after he resigned from his cabinet post.

His case was sent to the Senate but he was acquitted, so there’s no precedent when it comes to conviction.

Michael J Gerhardt, professor of constitutional law at the University of North Carolina writes: “The special penalties upon conviction in impeachment are designed to protect the republic from the very type of people who have abused public office in such a grave manner that they should never have the opportunity to be entrusted with public power again.”

He adds: “It would make no sense for former officials, or ones who step down just in time, to escape that remedial mechanism.

“It should accordingly go without saying that if an impeachment begins when an individual is in office, the process may surely continue after they resign or otherwise depart.”

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Officer crushed in door as mob storm Capitol

Will he be impeached and removed?

The congressional calculus will be uncertain until a vote is held, but it seems likely Mr Trump will be the first president to get impeached twice.

Democrats retained control of the House of Representatives in November, and some Republicans have said they are considering crossing the aisle to push the articles to the Senate in even greater numbers.

The Senate is a different matter,.

While Mr Trump is in office, his Republican party holds the majority.

But once Mr Biden takes his seat in the Oval Office, the Senate will pass into the control of the Democrats thanks to the dramatic wins in Georgia.

They only have the slimmest of majorities though, not enough to win an impeachment vote by themselves, and the number of Republicans willing to turn on Mr Trump is still an unknown quantity.

With a two-thirds majority needed, a lot of Republicans would need to change sides in order to convict the president.

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COVID-19: Lebanon’s health service close to collapse with case numbers beyond ‘wildest predictions’ | World News

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The director of Lebanon's largest coronavirus hospital Dr Firas Abiad said the government decision to relax restrictions over Christmas and New Year has led to a huge increase in cases and healthcare is on the verge of collapse

The head of Lebanon’s main coronavirus hospital has said the country’s health system is close to collapse – with not enough beds, drugs, oxygen, ventilators or staff.

In a stark interview with Sky News, Dr Firas Abiad said the government decision to relax coronavirus restrictions over a few fateful days at Christmas and New Year has led to a huge increase in cases and deaths over the past few weeks.

He allowed our cameras into the casualty department and the intensive care unit of the Rafic Hariri University Hospital in Beirut to see the pressure he and his staff are under.

Dr Abiad said all hospitals were reporting full, or almost full, intensive care units – and many have patients stuck in emergency wards, waiting for a bed.

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Dr Abiad said the government has thrown the healthcare system ‘into an abyss’

“Some patients are not able to find a bed and there’s been several cases where patients have died in their homes,” he said.

“If you look at the sharp rise in cases you see that Lebanon is really seeing unprecedented COVID numbers which is even beyond our wildest predictions.

“The number of daily new cases has almost quadrupled since where we were almost a month ago,” said Dr Abiad.

“At the same time we’ve seen that the number of deaths has also tripled and the number of patients in ICU has gone up by almost 100%.”

On 17 December, four days before a nationwide lockdown was due to end, the government decided to ease a series of restrictions for the holiday period.

Under intense pressure from businesses, they allowed nightclubs, bars and restaurants to open at 50% capacity while urging people to wear masks and maintain social distancing.

But videos on social media over Christmas and New Year showed packed clubs and bars. No attempts were made to crackdown on the violations.

“It’s clear that those were catastrophic [decisions] and what has happened is they’ve thrown the whole healthcare system of the country into a major abyss,” said Dr Abiad.

In the casualty department, the pressures are obvious. There is a shortage of beds, drugs, oxygen, ventilators and staff.

It is a relatively modern hospital but it looks sparse, except for the number of patients.

A nurse strokes a patient’s head.

“I am passing out… I am passing out,” he tells the nurse.

“No, no! You’re doing very well. Don’t be scared. Your oxygen is good. 99%. Honestly it’s very good,” she reassures him.

In the next bed is 53-year-old Aida Derawi. She first began to feel unwell 15 days ago. Her family had hoped she would recover at home, but this week things got worse.

“Yesterday I felt I couldn’t take it anymore,” she says. “My back and lungs were aching. My kids took me around to find a hospital but not a single one would accept me.”

Eventually space was found and she is improving slowly.

Nurse Hussein al Khazn tells us that in this wave of the virus, the patients are no longer predominately elderly.

The director of Lebanon's largest coronavirus hospital Dr Firas Abiad said the government decision to relax restrictions over a few fateful days at Christmas and New Year has led to a huge increase in cases and healthcare is on the verge of collapse. Pic: Red Cross volunteer Waad Abdulaad
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Red Cross volunteer Waad Abdulaad is very much on Lebanon’s frontline

“Much younger now,” he says. “Before we had 50, 60-year-old patients.

“Now it’s 20, 25, 30-year-old patients and they’re very, very critical – all of them.”

On the other side of the city, we’re given access to the Lebanese Red Cross coordination centre.

In a well-organised control room, a team of volunteers is juggling telephone calls from patients’ families with radio calls to the ambulance teams on the ground.

“So, she’s ill with coronavirus?” a volunteer asks down the line. “So she’s got shortness of breath?”

A radio message is sent to one of the dispatch teams.

“We’re dispatched to a patient that tested positive for COVID and she’s currently suffering from desaturation and vomiting,” volunteer medic Waad Abdulaal says from the passenger seat of the ambulance.

“So we’re going to go ahead, assess her and see if there’s a need to take her to the hospital.”

Lebanon was already in a critical state economically.

Years of accumulative economic mismanagement has led to a slow collapse in every sector of society.

That was then exacerbated by the pandemic and the devastating port explosion last year.

The director of Lebanon's largest coronavirus hospital Dr Firas Abiad said the government decision to relax restrictions over Christmas and New Year has led to a huge increase in cases and healthcare is on the verge of collapse
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Ambulance crews carry an 80-year-old woman down a flight of stairs in darkness due to another power cut

Up several flights of a stairwell, in darkness because of yet another power cut, the Red Cross team reaches its patient.

Madame Imad is 80 years old. She tested positive last week and her diabetes is complicating her condition. She needs to go to hospital, but there is an issue finding a bed for her.

The positivity rate across the country this past week has been at 21% (the 14-day rolling average).

That means the community spread of the virus is out of control. It needs to be at 5% before there is any chance of regaining a grip of the crisis.

Calls are made and they think space has been found at a hospital nearby.

Madame Imad is carried down the stairs as her daughter Sophie looks straight into our camera and pleads: “Show them that there are people dying before they reach the hospital.”

The elderly woman did make it to the hospital. But she was sent home again. There were no beds. Her family has told us her condition this weekend has worsened.

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COVID-19: UK records another 1,348 coronavirus-related deaths and 33,552 cases | UK News

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COVID-19: UK records another 1,348 coronavirus-related deaths and 33,552 cases | UK News

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COVID-19: Three hospitals criticised for not vaccinating vulnerable inpatients | UK News

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COVID-19: Three hospitals criticised for not vaccinating vulnerable inpatients | UK News

Vulnerable inpatients who are eligible for a COVID-19 jab are not being vaccinated in at least three hospitals in England.

Sky News has seen evidence of hospitals telling the families of elderly non-COVID patients that they are only vaccinating outpatients, and not those staying overnight.

Some 17.5% of COVID-19 patients caught the virus in hospital, according to analysis from the Daily Telegraph.

Maria Thompson’s 80-year-old mother has been in Merseyside’s Whiston Hospital with an autoimmune disease for more than a week.

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Campaign launched amid ‘very precarious’ situation

“The hospital has given my mum wonderful care”, Ms Thompson said.

“But as a family we have been really worried about my mum being in hospital. She has come into contact with more people in 10 days than she has in the past 10 months.”

St Helens and Knowsley NHS Trust has not responded to a request for comment, but in a message to Ms Thompson, a staff member confirmed: ”We are not yet vaccinating inpatients”.

They cited challenges moving the Pfizer vaccine around the hospital, and concerns about recording who had received the jab.

In Northampton, a relative (who wished to remain anonymous) told Sky News of the case of his 85-year-old father, who has been in the town’s hospital with non-COVID health problems for more than five weeks.

He will soon be discharged to a care home.

“The doctors and nurses have been brilliant. But as you can imagine given dad’s age, health and location we were very keen for a COVID-19 vaccination pre-discharge. Apparently it isn’t hospital policy,” he said.

“It’s a massive burden discharging him into a care home without the comfort of this protection, especially now knowing that home had multiple deaths in November.”

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Northampton General Hospital have declined to comment, but in a message to the relative, the trust’s chief executive Deborah Needham wrote: “Unfortunately we are not currently vaccinating inpatients as we are unable to book them in & have them back on site for the second vaccine.”

However, Ms Needham indicated the situation was under review.

Sky News understands inpatients at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge are also not being vaccinated. The hospital has not responded to a request for comment.

NHS England have also been contacted, but have yet to provide a response.

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