Election 2020: Day 69

Today, as the House reconvened, an attempt was made to use unanimous consent to pass a resolution calling upon Pence to immediately invoke the 25th Amendment. As expected, a Republican congressman intervened to withhold consent. The full House is expected to vote on the resolution tomorrow night, and it is expected to pass.

Assuming Trump remains in office the day after tomorrow, the House is expected to vote on an article of impeachment that evening, and once again it is expected to pass. As such, in about 48 hours’ time Trump will have become either the second President to resign from office, or (far more likely) the first President to become impeached by the House twice. There is a sense that some House Republicans are likely to support this impeachment, unlike the first impeachment for which the House vote attracted no Republican votes.

What happens after that remains unclear. Biden has reportedly asked Senate parliamentarians for clarity on whether the Senate might be able to pursue an impeachment trial in parallel with other business like confirming his Cabinet, instead of the trial necessarily crowding out all other Senate business.

Some have started to suggest that another potential course of action against Trump involves Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, a now-obscure clause originally intended to prevent Confederate rebels from serving in Congress after the end of the war. One legal scholar has suggested that an argument can be made that Trump has already ceased to be President under the terms of that amendment by virtue of the events of January 6th, which could serve as future legal grounds to disregard, say, any Presidential pardons issued after that date. A more mainstream view is that Congress could vote to indicate that it believes Trump’s actions violated this amendments, and then the issue would be thrown to the courts.

Today another Cabinet member resigned, namely acting DHS Secretary Wolf, although he did not cite the events of last week as an influence on his decision to resign several days early.

And Trump suffered two indignities in the past twenty-four hours that one imagines are close to his heart. First, the PGA of America announced that they were pulling the 2022 PGA Championship from the Trump-branded golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey. Second, today NFL coach Bill Belichick announced that he was turning down the opportunity to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Trump, after the honor had already been publicized. Keep in mind that in 2015 Belichick was named “most hated coach in the NFL” by Sports Illustrated. When Bill Belichick thinks you’re bad for his brand…