Thursday brought renewed talk about President Trump's potential impeachment, because it was Thursday, and because of what the New York Times called "losing control of his narrative" — America learned Trump had faked his pre-election doctor's note, and legal adviser Rudy Giuliani contradicted his claim that he didn't know Stormy Daniels was paid to keep quiet about their sexual encounter. So what happens now?

Will Trump be impeached?

Giuliani's Wednesday interview on Fox News was called a debacle by legal experts. It showed that Trump and White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders had lied about Trump's knowledge of Daniels' hush payment. By claiming that the payment was made by Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen, then reimbursed from Trump's personal funds, Giuliani did not absolve the president of potential campaign-finance violations, and attorneys questioned what his strategy was.

That said, there is no evidence that the Republican-controlled Congress has had enough and no sign that impeachment proceedings are even being floated by GOP leadership.

If Trump is impeached, what happens next?

If Democrats retake Congress in November's midterm elections, they could begin impeachment proceedings and restart Congressional investigations. If that resulted in impeachment or resignation, Vice President Pence would take over the office. 


There is a general consensus that a sitting president can't be indicted. But if Trump were suspected of crimes — such as bank fraud, money laundering, campaign-finance violations, conspiracy against the United States, or the like — he could be charged and tried. Even if he granted himself a presidential pardon, he could be tried on charges in New York State. State crimes are beyond a president's pardon power.

But as far as those offenses go, as of today there is a lot of innuendo and not much solid evidence directly connecting Trump to illegal activity. And it's far from clear that the Republican leadership would have the wherewithal to remove him from office, even if such evidence emerged.

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