FACT CHECK: Viral Image Claims The Constitution Allows The President To Seek Extra Terms If Impeached But Not Removed
An image shared on Facebook claims the Constitution allows the president to seek two more terms if that president has been impeached but not removed from office.
The Constitution does not state anywhere that a president’s term can be “nullified” if the Senate votes against removing that president from office. The 22nd Amendment expressly prohibits presidents from being elected to office more than two times.
The House voted to impeach President Donald Trump on counts of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress Dec. 18, making him the third president in history to be impeached. At the time of publication, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has yet to transmit the articles of impeachment to the Senate.
The Facebook post, which has been shared more than 10,000 times, features a screen grabbed tweet that implies Trump could seek two more presidential terms if the Senate does not vote to convict and remove him. (RELATED: Did Vermont Governor Phil Scott Vote To Impeach President Trump?)
“The U.S. Constitution states that if a president is impeachment by the House but not convicted by the Senate, that person’s first term is nullified and they are eligible to run for office two more times!!!” reads the tweet. “#Trump2024!”
The Constitution outlines the basic process for impeachment: the House has “sole Power of impeachment,” while the Senate has “sole Power to try all impeachments,” according to Article 1. The chief justice of the Supreme Court presides over the trial in the Senate, where two-thirds of present members must vote “yea” to convict and remove the president from office.
Contrary to the post’s claim, the Constitution does not state anywhere that a president’s term can be “nullified” if the Senate does not vote to convict on the impeachment charges. The 22nd Amendment explicitly prohibits presidents from getting elected to office more than two terms.
“No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of President more than once,” states the 22nd Amendment.
Only two other presidents – Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton – have been impeached by the House. Both presidents subsequently got acquitted by the Senate, in 1868 and 1999 respectively, yet neither saw their presidential terms nullified.
Former President Richard Nixon also faced an impeachment inquiry but resigned before the House could voted to impeach him.