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SIU professor gives take on impeachment proceedings

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CARBONDALE (WSIL) -- Law professors at Southern Illinois Univesrity-Carbondale are offering their time to explain the impeachment process happening in Washington, D.C.

Steven Macias, Associate Professor and Associate Dean at the SIU School of Law, says more Republicans could vote to impeach President Donald Trump this week.

While impeachment is all but certain in the House on Wednesday, Macias says it could see another uphill battle in the Senate. Last year, U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) was the only Senate Republican to vote for impeachment.

The Senate did not convict the president in 2020.

2021 may add a few more Republicans to the impeachment side in both chambers, but ultimately Macias believes it will result in another non-conviction.

The Senate needs 67 votes, or a supermajority, to convict the president. Macias says if the Senate somehow votes to convict, members themselves can 'pick and choose' which sanctions to give out.

That includes possibly allowing President Trump to keep benefits bestowed to a president once they leave office.

"They could impose one penalty but not another," Macias said. "They could allow him to keep the pension and maybe other benefits from having been a paid member of the government."

Only three U.S. presidents have ever been impeached. President Trump would be the first to be impeached twice by the House of Representatives if efforts succeed. No president has ever been convicted by the Senate.

Macias believes the events that transpired on January 6 have opened up the debate on the types of leaders needed in the nation's highest offices.

"I think what last week showed us is how much of our Constitutional practice and how many of our Constitutional conventions depend upon the good will and good conduct of people that hold these offices," Macias said.

Danny Valle

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