Except maybe Democrats?
It seems that there is technical way (Unlikely to happen) Democrats COULD convict Donald Trump of impeachment charges WITHOUT the Republicans….
“Two-thirds majority.” This is the share of votes required to convict President Trump in an impeachment trial in the United States Senate. That’s 67 senators, if you’re counting—or, in the glass-half-empty variation, the number of Republican senators required to jump ship is 20.
Mostly, these numbers are used to cast doubtful sentiments on the prospect of impeachment. As CNN correspondent Manu Raju reports, convicting Trump “would require support from a two-thirds majority of the Senate—a highly unlikely proposition.” The same numbers, and the same conclusion, have been popularized by Chris Matthews, RachelMaddow, and Chris Hayes; presidential candidates and members of Congress; USA Today and Reuters, CNBC and Vox’s Matthew Yglesias.
This is especially true among the President’s champions, who cheerfully assure the GOP faithful that Trump’s fortunes are sealed by math. Hans von Spakovsky did that on Fox News this week, when he argued that “67 votes are needed in the 100-member Senate to remove the president…a very high hurdle that’s probably impossible to leap over in the case of President Trump.”
If Fox News is to believed, the 67 figure is ironclad. Airtight. Right?
Not so fast.
The Constitution doesn’t indicate that removal from office requires two-thirds of the Senate. It requires two-thirds of senators present for the proceedings.
The inclusion of this single word in the Constitution’s impeachment clauses shifts the mathematical ledger of how impeachment, however unlikely, could go down. It allows for the all-important two-thirds threshold to exist along a sliding scale—far from the full attendance of the 100-member Senate. In theory, a vote to convict the President (or anyone else) would count as legal with as few as 34 members, not 67, assuming the absolute minimum (51) participated….