In Historic Vote, House Impeaches Donald Trump a Second Time – How Much Will It Cost?

Mandatory Credit: Photo by JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock (11706185b)Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi bangs the gavel after presiding over the House of Representatives as it voted to impeach Donald J.
JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock / JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

The Guardian reports that Donald Trump has just been impeached for a second time, his second in a year. He’s the first president to be impeached more than once.  Ten House republicans voted in favor of the resolution. But how much will this cost the American taxpayer?

It turns out that although impeachment is a lot of work, it isn’t expensive.

See: The Cost of Impeaching Trump the First Time
Find: Wall Street Journal Latest Financial Powerhouse to Call for Trump’s Resignation

Roll Call, a news service that specializes in covering Congress, reports that the January 2020 impeachment cost approximately $1.83 million, and most of that money was already budgeted in Congressional operations. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s salary and expenses were also part of regular expenditures.

This is in contrast with the impeachment of President Bill Clinton in 1998. That cost $79.6 million because of the wide scope of the investigation. The Whitewater investigation that led to the charges spanned a long time period and many witnesses. The investigation that led to the 2020 impeachment was narrower. The investigation of charges that could lead to the 2021 impeachment is even easier, as most of America saw the rioting in the Capitol on the news.

See: CEOs Send Strong Rebuke of Capitol Riot as Multiple Trump Staffers Resign
Find: As Trump Loses Access to Facebook and Beyond, Social Media Platforms Brace for Drop in Revenue

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Should impeachment pass the Senate, the President would have costs related to his defense. The actual trial seems unlikely to take place until after President-Elect Joe Biden takes office, but it will not be a moot court.

If President Trump is found guilty of treason, sedition, inciting a riot or other charges after he leaves office, he could lose the cushy retirement package that presidents receive: a pension equal to a cabinet secretary’s salary, currently $219,000 per year; an allowance for office space and staffing; $1 million a year for official travel (and another $500,000 for the spouse’s official travel); a lifetime of Secret Service protection; and a guaranteed funeral with full honors. They also receive health insurance if they were in the Federal Employee Health Benefits plan for at least five years. President Trump was not in office long enough to receive this, but he is eligible for Medicare.

In other words, if the President is found to be guilty, taxpayers will gain more than the cost of the trial.

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This article has been updated with the news that the House has voted to impeach.

About the Author

Ann Logue is a writer specializing in business and finance. Her most recent book is The Complete Idiot’s Guide: Options Trading (Alpha 2016). She lives in Chicago.

In Historic Vote, House Impeaches Donald Trump a Second Time – How Much Will It Cost?
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