Impeachment: Post-inauguration conviction would be a 'scarlet letter' on Donald Trump, expert says

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- President Donald Trump was impeached by the U.S. House for a historic second time Wednesday, but will he be removed from office, and if a Senate conviction comes after Joe Biden's inauguration, what impact would it have?

Daniel Lippman, a White House reporter for Politico, joined ABC7 on Wednesday shortly after the president was impeached for an unprecedented second time.

Moving forward, the president will now face an impeachment trial in the Senate, which would essentially remove Trump from office, even after he's already left office at the end of his term.

Now what would a Senate conviction, post-inauguration, actually mean? It wouldn't necessarily stop Trump from another presidential run in 2024, but more so act as a "scarlet letter," Lippman said.

"Republicans are trying to figure out how to move forward," he said.

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And part of that rebuild of the Republican Party is separating from Trump, he said.

This idea is also what's prompted Senate Majority Leader to indicate potential support for a Senate impeachment conviction.

"If Trump thinks he can get away with this in the Senate, he's due for a surprise since Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that he is happy with what Democrats are doing," Lippman said. "And he's indicated that he is likely to support that, giving political cover to Republicans to go forward as well."

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President Donald Trump was impeached by the House for a second time Wednesday on one charge of inciting insurrection a week after a riot at the U.S. Capitol.

McConnell has already said he won't be calling the Senate in from their recess, which ends Jan. 19.

This pushes out a trial into early to mid-February, Lippman said.

"Perhaps by Valentine's Day" Trump could be the first president convicted, Lippman said.

The Politico reporter reiterated that the idea of convicting and removing a president when they're already out of office is entirely uncharted waters.

RELATED: Fact check: No, impeachment itself would not ban Trump from a 2024 presidential run

"They're going to push and they think it's important to hold the president accountable," he said.

With an impeachment conviction, it pushes McConnell's idea to rebuild the GOP "brand," Lippman said.

Though it wouldn't entirely rule out a Trump 2024 run, Lippman said, "He won't have the novelty factor he had in 2016."

Trump was impeached on a charge of incitement of insurrection following last week's deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol.
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