Impeaching Trump - 3 "Plausible" But Unlikely Scenarios
Secret Balloting, A "Void" Document, and Supreme Court Involvement
These 3 plausible scenarios include a vote in the Senate by secret ballot which might just lead to Trump's removal from office; a determination by the Chief Justice that the impeachment violates the Constitution and therefore is legally "void" and cannot be voted upon; and that, if the Senate votes to remove Trump from office, he will refuse to leave and the matter will then be taken to the courts, says Banzhaf.
FIRST, in what Politico calls a "Surprisingly Plausible Path to Removing Trump From Office," there is speculation that as few as 3 Republican senators could force the Senate to vote on Trump's removal by a secret ballot; a move which others predict could cause many Republican senators to vote for his removal.
This, in turn, might prompt Trump to resign to avoid further damage to his reputation, and/or to agree to resign as part of a deal where he would be shielded from various possible state criminal prosecutions now in the investigatory stage, and also from federal criminal charges.
SECOND, many members of Congress, as well as several impartial legal experts, have claimed that the articles of impeachment likely to be adopted by the House, are unconstitutional.
Therefore, it could be argued, the document presented to the Senate would be null and void, and could not constitutionally result in a trial, much less any possible Senate vote to remove Trump from office.
So, since a Senate trial arguably cannot proceed based upon a document which is void and not valid, an argument can be made to presiding judge that the proceeding must be adjourned as void ab initio without any trial at all.
THIRD, the least likely, but most potentially dangerous scenario of all, could occur if the Senate did vote to remove Trump but he refused to leave, claiming some fatal constitutional defect in the impeachment removal process.
Under this scenario, either Trump or the Congress might ask the courts, including the Supreme Court, to take some action to resolve the constitutional standoff, but there are many reasons why various courts might choose not to rule on whatever case is brought before them regarding this issue.
Moreover, there is no guarantee that Trump would necessarily honor a decision by the judicial branch, even one by the Supreme Court itself.