'Trump 'unlikely' to get the boot - International law expert

An international law expert says its "unlikely" Trump would be taken out of office before the end of his term.
An international law expert says its "unlikely" Trump would be taken out of office before the end of his term. Photo credit: Getty Images

International law expert Alexander Gillespie says it's "unlikely" US President Donald Trump will be booted out of office before his term is up as both possible pathways used would take "far too long." 

The two ways Trump could be taken out of office include using the 25th Amendment of the US Constitution or impeachment. Both options would result in US Vice President Mike Pence taking over until Joe Biden's inauguration on January 20th.

The 25th Amendment relates to Presidential succession and allows the Vice President to take over if the current President dies, resigns, or is removed from office. 

Impeachment would mean Trump is convicted of a crime, in this case inciting the Capitol riot, and subsequently removed from office by the senate. 

Gillespie told Newshub both options would take "too long." 

"In theory, you could use the 25th, in theory, you could impeach Trump, in reality, both of them will take far too much time and neither will come to fruition."

He added it was "unlikely" Pence would use the 25th Amendment to take over as President.

"It's unlikely that Pence will actually even initiate such an action. And see what you've got now is you've got to work out how we can deal with the next two weeks before the full transition to power is achieved."

Gillespie said the US will be trying to make sure the next two weeks are as "orderly as possible," as Trump comes to the end of his term, predicting a range of pardons and possibly foreign policy changes to be seen.

"I think congress is no longer useful to the President and so the only thing that leaves the president to work with is executive orders, pardons and foreign policy."

"I think you might see a new range of pardons coming out and these will be with people he decides deserves his good favour."

The biggest question will be whether Trump decides to pardon himself - something never done before.

"The best practice would be to resign and then the next president would issue them a pardon," Gillespie said. 

"It's never been done before that a President would issue themselves a pardon but then again we've never had a president like Mr Trump before either."  

As Trump still has control over foreign policy Gillpse suggests now is not the time for other countries to provoke him as he may have a "disproportionate" response. 

"Most of those other countries around the world be it Russia or China or Iran, this is the time to be very calm because otherwise, he would respond in a very unpredictable way." 

Despite predictions, Gillespie says Trump is "always one step ahead manipulating the game."

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell also said there wasn't enough time to remove Trump from office. Speaking to CNN on Friday he said he wanted the President "gone from office". 

"We have 13 days to go and nothing will really happen in the period. The President is under such pressure now he will just be trying to survive," Powell told CNN.  

"It is too late for the 25th amendment or impeachment, that process is too slow. It would just be a distraction. We have less than two weeks to go and he will be out. 

"Let him go and don't give him an excuse to say he is being persecuted."