(CNN) –– A Tweet Viral claims that bringing President Donald Trump to impeachment a second time would imply that the president would no longer have the ability to run for president in 2024.
That is not true. Neither are the other claims in the tweet.
Ben Costiloe’s tweet was posted on Friday, two days after the insurrection of a mob of Trump supporters on Capitol Hill. Situation that caused a new impeachment effort by the Democrats of the House of Representatives. As of Monday morning, the message had more than 181,000 retweets and 725,000 likes.
The content mentions the following: “For those wondering if it is worth taking (Trump) to impeachment this time, that means he:
1) lose your 200k + pension for the rest of your life
2) you lose your allowance for trips of 1 million dollars per year
3) lose all secret service details for life
4) it loses its ability to launch in 2024 ».
Facts first: the tweet is inaccurate in a number of ways.
1) Trump would lose his post-presidency pension only if the House voted for impeachment and then the Senate voted to impeach him. The impeachment itself, without removal, would not result in Trump being denied any benefits.
2) The law makes clear that presidents who have Secret Service protection for life never get a travel allowance of $ 1 million.
3) It is not clear that Trump would lose Secret Service protection for life, even if the Senate voted to impeach him and he was barred from launching.
4) Even a vote in the Senate to impeach Trump would not prevent him from running in 2024. For the Senate to bar him from running for president, he would have to take an additional vote on this issue.
The pension after the presidency
Trump would not lose his pension if the House impeaches him for his role in incite insurrection. Just as he did not lose his pension when the House impeached him in 2019. On that occasion, due to his effort to use the US relationship with Ukraine for his own political ends. In fact, under the Former Presidents Law, Trump would only lose his pension if the Senate votes to convict and remove him from office.
Many average citizens use the word “impeachment” to refer to impeachment, so we are not criticizing Costiloe for this common mistake. But the claim is wrong.
Presidents who have not been removed and removed from office they have the right to a lifetime pension. The sum is equivalent to the annual salary of a department head of the Executive branch. For Trump, as for his predecessor President Barack Obama, the figure would amount to more than $ 200,000 a year.
Can Trump launch in 2024?
Neither a second House impeachment trial nor even a Senate vote to convict Trump and remove him from office would prevent him from running again, in 2024 or later.
This is what would actually need to happen. After two-thirds of the senators present vote to impeach Trump, a simple majority of senators in the room would have to pass an additional vote to remove him from the presidency in 2024, or in the future generally.
The Senate cannot skip the conviction and impeachment vote that requires two-thirds of senators and go directly to simple majority voting for future disqualification. This was explained to CNN by Ross Garber, an impeachment and political investigations attorney who teaches at Tulane Law School.
There is also at least some uncertainty on the issue of disqualification. Precisely because the Senate has never removed any president from office. Also, they have only been disqualified judges to fill future positions. The disqualification language in the Constitution is “disqualification from holding and enjoying any position of honor, trust, or benefit in the United States.” In that sense, Garber highlighted that no court or Congress has resolved the question of whether the presidency counts as a “position of honor, trust, or benefit in the United States” on which the Senate can bar a person charged in impeachment and conviction. (Garber said that he personally believes the presidency does count.)
Secret Service Protection
Would Trump lose the protection of the Secret Service if he were removed from office? It is not clear, neither to us nor to two legal experts we consulted, the law professors Stephen Vladeck and Josh Blackman.
There are two relevant laws that use different language about who counts as “former president.”
One rule, the Former Presidents Act mentioned above, specifically says that a president who is ousted by the Senate is not considered a “former president” for the purposes of certain post-term benefits.
However, the Law Protection of Former Presidents –– signed by Obama in 2013–– simply authorizes Secret Service protection for life for ex-presidents. And the rule does not define the conditions of “former president” in any particular way.
It is unclear which definition the federal government or the courts would use when deciding whether an impeachment and impeachment Trump should get Secret Service protection for life. (The Secret Service did not respond to a request for comment.)
In short, the tweet was too definitive at a point that is very much in the air.
For starters, it’s unclear whether Trump will get a $ 1 million travel allowance in the first place. In fact, the travel allowance is technically a travel and safety allowance. And it’s only for Former Presidents Not Receiving Secret Service Protection For Life. An official in a former president’s office confirmed to CNN that the former president he works for does not have access to a $ 1 million travel and security allowance.
In other words: under normal circumstances, if Trump completes his term as scheduled and then accepts the lifetime Secret Service protection that he would unquestionably be entitled to in that case, there wouldn’t be a million dollars in security and per diem for him.
The story of the viral tweet
We called Costiloe to inform him that we were working on a fact check and that much of the tweet was inaccurate. His answer, in a good way, was: “Fire him for a new one. Go on, that’s why. He added that he is “nobody.” That he is a man living with diabetes in Texas and he tweeted because he had seen the information appear somewhere on his Facebook account and that it “made him feel good.”
He said he was never sure the content was correct and was surprised the tweet went so viral. He explained that he only had 200 followers on Twitter at the time he posted it.
I don’t want to ruin the world. He just wanted to make me feel good, ”he said. “Turns out it made a lot of people feel good,” he added.