Let's assume President Trump is successfully impeached and removed from office on Monday/Tuesday (before his term expires and he leaves office on the 20th).

Would Vice President Pence take over and become president (in lists of presidents and numbered 46th president) for one week/less than a week? Would there be an inauguration for him? Would he get all benefits of a president/ex-president (even if his "term" as president was only some days)?

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    Welcome to Politics SE! If you're asking about the laws or processes of a specific country, we ask that you please include the tag for that country to help others find your question more easily. I've added the united-states tag to this question for you.
    – Joe C
    Jan 9, 2021 at 16:51
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    is there another country of which Donald Trump is President, Pence is Vice-President and where impeachment can apply? Normally adding extraneous specifiers in a search can only lower finding matching entries.
    – Astara
    Jan 10, 2021 at 5:05
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    Although that's about administration, not politics, of course Pence would be asked to step up. The one exception would be if Trump and Pence were somehow jointly impeached… highly unlikely, but not impossible. What else did you think the Constitution said? Jan 10, 2021 at 21:23

3 Answers 3


Would Vice President Pence take over and become president (in lists of presidents and numbered 46th president) for one week/less than a week?


Impeachment and conviction of the President would remove the President. Section 1 of the 25th Amendment states that: "In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President". This suggests that the Vice President would succeed to the office of President.

Would there be an inauguration for him?

Probably not

Given past precedent regarding presidential succession by the Vice President, all that is required of the new President is to be sworn in by a judicial officer who can administer oaths (like a judge or notary public), so no inauguration is necessary.

Would he get all benefits of a president/ex-president (even if his "term" as president was only some days)?


He has served as a former President and succeeded to the office - relevant laws like the Former Presidents Act (which assigns various benefits) only state that the person in question had to have held the office of President in the past, which would have occurred under Section 1 of the 25th Amendment when the President was removed from office.

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    Not even a judge - Coolidge was sworn in by a notary. Jan 9, 2021 at 23:07
  • @AzorAhai-him- I forgot that case, updated answer to be a bit more accurate in this regard.
    – anon
    Jan 10, 2021 at 15:02
  • You might check and add if there are would be any disadvantages for Pence. I think if this had happened two years ago, and he was President for just over half a term, he couldn't be re-elected twice. With a few days presidency, I think it is all beneficial for him.
    – gnasher729
    Jan 10, 2021 at 18:58

If President Trump is removed from office for any reason before his term ends, Mike Pence becomes the 46th President of the United States for the remainder of Trump's term, whether that be five months or five hours. Joe Biden would then be the 47th President of the United States.

There would be an inauguration, in the sense that he would take the Oath of Office shortly after his predecessor's removal. It is unlikely that it would be the kind of grand ceremony that we see in front of the Capitol every four years - in the case of President Ford, his inauguration took place in the East Room of the White House.

  • Given the amount of merchandise produced which describes Biden as the 46th President, I think it more likely that Pense would be counted as the 45½th President than that Biden would be the 47th.
    – supercat
    Jan 11, 2021 at 18:06
  • "There would be an inauguration, in the sense that..." There would certainly be a swearing-in ceremony. I think the average nontechnical observer would not call it an "inauguration." (However, Wikipedia does refer to the first inauguration of LBJ as taking place aboard an airplane, so I admit some observers do call that sort of thing an "inauguration.") Jan 11, 2021 at 18:49

Yes, assuming that the impeachment conviction occurs prior to the end of Trump and Pence's term in office. If Trump is impeached and convicted after he leaves office the conviction is largely symbolic, as he cannot be removed from an office he no longer holds - but the Senate (which will be controlled by the Democrats after Jan. 20) can then vote to bar him from ever holding national political office again, and such a vote only requires a simple majority to pass. Pence would then become the 46th president. Pence would probably not have a grand inauguration as there would be no time to plan such an event. I expect (but do not know for a fact) that he would get all the benefits of other ex-presidents.

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    If impeached and convicted after the end of his term, Trump would also lose the benefits normally provided to former presidents, which are significant. Jan 11, 2021 at 4:45

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