What would convicting Trump do after he's left office?
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Some lawmakers have said there is significance in drawing a line for future presidents that the actions of President Donald Trump will lead to impeachment.
The main reason for impeachment, removing a president from office, will likely be off the table, given Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's decision not to call the Senate in immediately for a trial.
But Marquette Political Science Department Chair Paul Nolette says there can still be concrete consequences.
“The Senate can also have another vote where that person who just got convicted can never hold office again," Nolette said. "So this would prevent President Trump from say running in 2024 for the Republican nomination.”
Nolette said the situation is unprecedented, and the Constitution doesn’t have all the answers, but Trump could also lose traditional benefits given to former presidents.
“Everything from a pension to Secret Service protection.”
A conviction requires a two thirds vote by the Senate. UW-Madison Political Science Professor Howard Schweber says that could happen.
Seventeen Republicans would have to vote him out, and Schweber says he thinks anywhere from 10-20 will make that choice.
“It’s a little bit like right now choosing which team you think is going to win the Super Bowl. You can make a plausible case for any of them. Some are more plausible than others.”
He does expect Democrats to run a lengthy Senate trial because Trump will already be out of office.
“The lessening of the imminence of the remedy of the political pressure might make this Senate procedure one truly worth watching.”
The trial occurring under Democratic control of the Senate means it will likely be based around Joe Biden, who also wants Congress to confirm his cabinet and potentially pass COVID-19 relief.