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Local expert says impeachment process could extend past inauguration day

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NORMAL, IL (WEEK) - President Donald Trump was impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday. The second such impeachment for the 45th President. Local Political Communications Professor Dr. Joseph Zompetti thinks the process may outlast Trump's Presidency.

Referencing the storming of the Capitol on Wednesday, January 6, Zompetti said, "When a nation experiences the kind of pain that we experienced on Wednesday, there has to be some level or some degree of accountability."

That accountability is taking place in the form of an impeachment. But the question remains, what is the point of carrying out an impeachment when the President will be out of office in less than a week?

Zompetti thinks impeachment is part of the healing process for the nation, accountability. But he also acknowledges it could be "for show" by the Democratic Party.

The author of 'Divisive Discourse: The Extreme Rhetoric of American Politics' predicted the House would impeach the President. He went on to explain that a Senate hearing is more like a sentencing than a trial. And that just because President Trump will be out of office on January 20 doesn't mean an impeachment attempt would end automatically.

"Impeachment proceedings are not courtrooms. They are not legal proceedings. They're political proceedings. So there's a difference standard of proof. There's a different standard of what's expected," explained Zompetti.

He explained that even though the Supreme Court has set a precedent on the language surrounding a charge of 'inciting insurrection' that legal term doesn't necessarily apply during an impeachment. "It's really a question of decorum and character and representation of what it means to be an American, in this case the American President," explained Zompetti.

The ISU Professor also explained that the language that exists in the current Articles of Impeachment would prevent President Trump from ever running for Federal office again. The Senate will now decide.

Kyle Beachy

Kyle Beachy is a Multimedia Journalist for 25 News and Heart of Illinois. Born and raised in Kokomo, Indiana, he attended Indiana Wesleyan University where he studied Education and played baseball. He comes to us from Columbus, Ohio where he received a Master’s Degree from The Ohio State University.

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