Professor: President Trump unlikely to be removed from office

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Millions of Americans are likely to tune in to impeachment proceedings on television or online, though the impact of those hearings is yet to be determined.

Top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine William Taylor, left, and Career Foreign Service officer George Kent are sworn in prior to testifying before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, during the first public impeachment hearing of President Donald Trump's efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents. (Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool Photo via AP)

Coe College provost and political science professor Paula O'Loughlin said the current impeachment hearings being broadcast on live television can be summed up as "political theater".

"It's a lot of expressions of what they already know. I don't think there's going to be any smoking gun, so to speak, that aren't apparent in the depositions," O'Loughlin said.

O'Loughlin said she thinks it's best to think of the hearings currently taking place in the House as that of a grand jury, as they're reviewing the facts at hand. If the Representatives approve a vote to impeach the president, the Senate will act as a jury in a court of law and vote whether or not to remove the President.

"They would need 67 to actually convict him," O'Loughlin said. "I don't believe that that many will shift, I believe some will, I believe there will probably be three to five Senators at this point."

No president has ever been removed from office through the impeachment process. Two presidents, Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, have been impeached.

Five articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon were drafted and three approved by the House Judiciary Committee, but Nixon resigned his office before they were voted upon by the full House.