After the US Capitol in Washington DC was locked down earlier this week, a leading Illawarra academic suggests it's unlikely President Donald Trump will be removed under the 25th Amendment of the US Constitution.
Associate Professor Markus Wagner from the University of Wollongong School of Law is an expert in US constitutional law and politics, and has worked and studied in the US.
Prof Wagner said after the turmoil in Washington DC, many are wondering what President Trump will do next and what, if any, guardrails exist to prevent further chaos on the streets and within the US body politic.
"Given the proclivity of President Trump for political fireworks and that he has little to lose at this point, we can expect that he will use the presidential pardon power not only for himself for potential crimes he has committed in inciting violence, but also for crimes committed by rioters when storming the Capitol building," he said.
Prof Wagner said the removal of the President under the 25th Amendment of the US Constitution faces procedural and political hurdles.
"Trump's cabinet is now composed of yes men and women who make this prospect unlikely," he said.
"Impeaching the President would remove Trump's ability to run for office in 2024, but faces similar hurdles in the US Senate, which remains in the hands of Republicans until later this month.
"Both the House and the Senate could censure the President which would be more of a symbolic act without any legal consequences. Most likely no significant legal action will be taken.
"That said, the political support that Trump and his supporters such as Senators Cruz and Hawley have enjoyed appears to be waning.
"President-elect Biden is right to not throw his weight behind calls for legal action as it would fan the political flames further and detract from important work that lies ahead for his new administration."
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