Donald Trump is the only former President to face two impeachment convictions during his time in office, but neither one resulted in a conviction. Some might say it’s because he wasn’t guilty, but not Ron Filipkowski – he’s offering another theory, and it has to do with the ballot process. Here’s what he said!

A Secret Ballot Would’ve Changed Everything

Taking to X on January 19, Ron Filipkowski – one of Trump’s biggest critics – claimed that the former President would’ve been impeached if the Senators maintained anonymity while voting. Instead, the votes were public – meaning we knew who voted for and against Trump.

Source: Flickr/Gage Skidmore

“If impeachment conviction votes were by secret ballot we would already be rid of this psychopath after the last one. But votes are public,” Filipkowski wrote – and he had a point. It has long been contested that many in the Republican party would’ve voted differently if it were done anonymously.

Filipkowski Calls Republican Senators ‘Cowards

Filipkowski continued his theory by taking aim at the ‘Republican Senators who hate [Trump’s] guys’ – who we described as ‘cowards’ for not having the courage to stand up for this country. “Anonymity would’ve made courage an irrelevant trait,” he added in the post on X.

Source: spxChrome from Getty Images Signature via Canva

He’s not the first to suggest this, either. In 2020, Carl Bernstein – an investigative journalist who helped expose the Watergate scandal in the 1970s – said he came across 21 GOP Senators who ‘repeatedly expressed contempt’ with Trump. Only seven of those Senators voted to impeach him.

Donald Trump Dodged Impeachment Twice In 15 Months

In 2019, Donald Trump became the third US President to be impeached by the House of Representatives – joining Andrew Johnson (impeached by the House in 1868) and Bill Clinton (impeached by the House in 1998). Trump was impeached a second time in 2021.

Source: Flickr/Gage Skidmore

As of 2023, no US President has ever been removed from office due to impeachment. Trump, Clinton, and Johnson were all acquitted by the Senate – though Johnson came one vote away from removal. The closest Trump came to removal was 10 votes in 2021.

First Impeachment: Trump’s Dealings With Ukraine

Trump’s first impeachment commenced on December 18, 2019 when the House adopted two articles of impeachment – ‘abuse of power’ and ‘obstruction of justice.’ They accused him of interfering in the 2020 presidential election by pressuring Ukraine into launching an investigation into Biden’s son.

Source: Flickr/Gage Skidmore

The first article ended in a 230-197 House vote (one present, three not voting), while the second article went 229-198 (one present, three not voting). The Senate needed to produce at least 67 ‘guilty’ votes to remove him from office, but they only produced 48 such votes on the first article and 47 on the second.

Second Impeachment: The Jan. 6 Attack On The Capitol

On January 13, 2021, Donald Trump was impeached again – just one week before the end of his four-year term. The House approved one article – ‘Incitement of Insurrection’ – for his role in the January 6 attack on the US Capitol (which happened one week prior).

Source: Flickr/Gage Skidmore

232 Representatives (including all 222 Democrats and 10 Republicans) voted against Trump. With all 48 Democratic Senators and two Independent Senators voting against Trump, they needed 17 Republicans to stand up for this country – but they only got seven. The final result was 57-43 (needed 67).

Trump Facing Criminal Conviction, But What About Double Jeopardy?

On August 1, 2023, a Washington grand jury officially charged Donald Trump with four counts (all felonies) for his role in the events leading up to the Jan. 6 attack. The case, brought forth by special counsel Jack Smith, will head to trial sometime in March.

Source: Flickr/Gage Skidmore

Of course, there’s one little problem. The case is currently frozen because Trump and his legal team are calling for the charges to be dropped. Why? Double jeopardy. Since Trump has already been tried and acquitted for his role in the insurrection, his lawyers say he can’t be tried again.

Now Trump Is Calling For ‘Presidential Immunity

Even if the courts silence the ‘double jeopardy’ take, Trump is arguing that he can’t be convicted of a crime he committed while in office anyway. Over the past few years, Trump has repeatedly called for ‘presidential immunity’ – which would protect every US President from a criminal conviction.

Source: Flickr/Gage Skidmore

Presidents have some level of presidential immunity already, but not to the extent Trump wants it – and it has many Democrats (and even some Republicans) on the edges of their seats. If Trump gets his way, the President will have complete freedom to do as they please while in office.

Can The President Order SEAL Team 6 To Eliminate A Political Rival?

On January 9, 2024, Donald Trump and his lawyers appeared in front of the DC District Court of Appeals to voice their argument for ‘presidential immunity.’ At one point, DC Circuit Court Judge Florence Pan asked one of Trump’s lawyers an interesting question.

Source: santoelia from Getty Images via Canva

“Could a President order SEAL Team 6 to assassinate a political rival? That is an official act, an order to SEAL Team Six?” Pan asked. What should’ve been an easy ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question turned into an unsettling view of just how powerful the President would be with full immunity.

Trump’s Lawyer Provides Unsettling Take On Presidential Power

In regards to whether or not the President could be held responsible for such an order, Trump’s lawyer said, “He would have to be, and would speedily be impeached and convicted before the criminal prosecution.” Pan gave him another opportunity to give a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question, but he doubled down.

Source: valentynsemenov via Canva

“If he were impeached and convicted first,” the lawyer said. “My answer is qualified yes. There is a political process that would have to occur.” Basically, he’s arguing that Trump would have to be impeached AND convicted of the crime before facing criminal prosecution. If acquitted, he’s free from charges.

Many Americans Fear What A Second Term Might Mean For America

Despite facing 91 criminal charges across four different states, Donald Trump is in the middle of a 2024 presidential campaign that will likely see him win the Republican primary – setting up a potential Trump vs. Biden rematch. If that happens, it could go either way.

Source: Flickr/Gage Skidmore

That’s why many Americans are watching the Jan. 6 criminal case against Trump closely. If charges are dropped, it could pave the way for a second term. If convicted, his chances of becoming President are slim (though not completely gone). The next few months will tell a lot!