THE odds of Donald Trump being impeached have been slashed again after his performance in Helsinki while meeting Vladimir Putin.
Let’s take a look at whether the US President will be removed from office.
What is impeachment?
According to the United States Constitution, the House of Representatives can vote to impeach but it’s the Senate which actually tries the case.
The US constitution states a president “shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanours”.
The process has to be started by the House of Representatives – currently controlled by Trump’s own party – and needs a simple majority to pass.
However impeachment does not necessarily result in removal from office – it is only a legal statement of charges.
A trial is set in the Senate and a two-thirds vote is necessary for removal – but in America’s history this milestone has never been reached.
Will Donald Trump be impeached?
In 2017, more than 890,000 people have signed a petition calling for Trump to be impeached, which sprung up almost immediately after he was inaugurated.
In February of that year, it emerged the Republican may have passed on highly classified information to Russian officials.
His decision to discuss classified information with the officials is technically still within the law, but he may have put American lives at risk and violated his oath of office by doing so.
Many also see claims he asked James Comey to drop the investigation into Michael Flynn as an obstruction of justice.
Trump eventually fired Flynn on February 13 on grounds that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence and other officials about his contacts with Russians.
But just weeks later, Trump sensationally sacked Comey as head of the FBI, saying the director “wasn’t doing a good job”.
Comey then appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee on the FBI’s investigation into the Trump administration.
Here he accused them of defaming him and telling lies about the agency.
But he declined to offer his opinion on whether Trump sought to obstruct justice by asking him to drop an investigation into the former national security adviser.
But Trump is working with a Republican-controlled Congress, which means he has more people backing him.
The majority of his party have remained loyal, despite a slump in approval ratings.
What are the odds of Donald Trump being impeached?
As it stands currently, impeachment appears unlikely because it would require a majority in the House of Representatives to go to trial and a two-thirds majority in the Senate to make it happen.
Following the Helsinki summit with Putin in July 2018, odds on Trump being impeached or resigning from office narrowed.
During the meeting with Russian President Putin, the US President appeared to accept the “powerful” denial of the Kremlin strongman over accusations that Moscow interfered in the 2016 US election.
Bookmakers Coral are now offering odds of 5-2 for the Republican leader to leave office via impeachment or resignation before the end of his first term.
Which presidents have been impeached before?
Only two presidents have been impeached, despite numerous threats.
The most recent was the 42nd president of the United States Bill Clinton, who was impeached in the House on two charges, one of perjury and one of obstruction of justice, on December 19, 1998.
However, when it reached the Senate in 1999, it failed to get close to the two-thirds backing in needed to pass.
The other was Andrew Johnson, who served as president for four years from 1865.
He was impeached by the House in 1868 – just 11 days after he got rid of his secretary of war Edwin Stanton.
The two-thirds majority needed to get rid of him in the Senate was missed by just one vote.
Richard Nixon resigned before he could be impeached over the Watergate scandal.
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