The House of Representatives' vote Wednesday to impeach President Donald J. Trump for "willfully inciting violence against the government of the United States" makes him the first U.S. president to be impeached twice, but does that mean he'll lose his presidential pension?
Not unless the U.S. Senate votes to convict him before Jan. 20. Impeachment alone does nothing; it is only an accusation. Nothing happens until the Senate convicts. And under the Former Presidents Act, for the president to lose his lifetime pension, the Senate would need to convict Mr. Trump while he's still in office.
"So, a conviction after he is already gone would not affect his pension at all," said Brian C. Kalt, a law professor and Harold Norris Faculty Scholar at Michigan State University, in an email. "To strip him of his pension, Congress would need to change the Former Presidents Act."
What if Mr. Trump resigns before Jan. 20, when President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in as the next president of the United States? Also, no. Again, citing the Former Presidents Act, Mr. Kalt confirmed that Mr. Trump would still receive his lifetime pension if he resigns.
A report from Congressional Research Service, a public policy research institute of the U.S. Congress, says that "former presidents currently receive a pension that is equal to pay for Cabinet secretaries." According to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, that was $219,200 annually as of January 2020.
The House voted to impeach 232-197, with 10 Republicans in favor of the resolution. It is unclear when the Senate will begin the trial.