For the second time in four turbulent years and just nine days before his term ends, articles of impeachment have been drafted by the House of Representatives, formally charging U.S. President Donald J. Trump with incitement of insurrection for the events of Wednesday, January 6.
A House vote is expected later this week. If passed, the articles will be forwarded to the Senate to try the charge. While it is unlikely that the impeachment articles could, if passed, be tried before president-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration Wednesday, January 20, the process can continue after Trump’s tenure and conviction could strip him of his lifetime presidential salary, library, staff and travel benefits as well as bar him from holding any office of public trust in the United States.
“In his conduct while President of the United States—and in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” the articles read, “Donald John Trump engaged in high Crimes and Misdemeanors by inciting violence against the Government of the United States.”
The articles allege that in the months before January 6, Trump repeatedly issued false statements as to the validity of the election that U.S. Legislators and Vice President Mike Trump were in session to validate, that before the joint session of Congress began, Trump addressed a crowd and reiterated false claims that he’d won the election “by a landslide,” and that he made statements that encouraged and resulted in “lawless action at the Capitol.”
“Thus incited by President Trump, members of the crowd he had addressed, in an attempt to, among other objectives, interfere with the Joint Session’s solemn constitutional duty to certify the results of the 2020 Presidential election, unlawfully breached and vandalized the Capitol, injured and killed law enforcement personnel, menaced Members of Congress, the Vice President, and Congressional personnel, and engaged in other violent, deadly, destructive, and seditious acts.”
The articles go on to say that by his conduct, Donald John Trump has “demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain ink office.”
“Donald John Trump thus warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States,” the document concludes.
To read the full document, click here.
Pursuant to the Former Presidents Act of 1958, all who have held the office of U.S President “whose service in such office shall have terminated other than by removal pursuant to section 4 of article II of the Constitution of the United States of America” are entitled to pay equal to that received by the head of an executive department, currently $219,200 per year, for life, compensation for an office staff not to exceed $96,000 per annum, as well as an additional $150,000 for staff per year for the first 30 months after leaving office for the establishment of a presidential library.
In addition, former presidents each receive up to $1-million for themselves per year and up to $500,000 for their spouse annually for security and travel related expenses, medical care and secret service protection for life.
The widows or widowers of former presidents are also entitled to lifetime benefits.
Prior to 1958, presidents were not afforded pensions or retirement benefits.