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If a president is impeached and removed from power, do they lose all benefits usually afforded to presidents when they leave office? quotes the Former Presidents Act as defining a former President as

a person ... whose service in such office shall have terminated other than by removal pursuant to section 4 of article II of the Constitution of the United States of America; and

There are a number of benefits that former Presidents lose if they're removed from office by impeachment (e.g. a pension and office staff, but not Secret Service protection). Trump was removed from office due to losing the election, not as a result of impeachment. So does that mean he'll continue to receive those the benefits afforded by the Act?

If he does, I suppose Congress could (if it wants to) amend the Act (to change the definition) or pass a new law to specifically deny Trump these benefits. This is likely to be moot, as getting 17 GOP Senators to break ranks and vote to convict Trump will be difficult.

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  • Normally I would have pointed out that Trump does not need the benefits accrued from serving as US President, being a wildly successful multi-millionaire, but recent reports indicate he may no longer be as multily- a multi-millionaire as he once was. – CGCampbell Jan 27 at 16:36
  • @CGCampbell Trump didn't "need" to be POTUS, either -- he was a very popular TV host. – Barmar Jan 27 at 16:40
  • He would lose his pension but probably not his Secret Service detail. – user9790 Jan 27 at 16:43
  • @KDog That's also true if he's removed through impeachment while in office. – Barmar Jan 27 at 16:44
  • @KDog I've updated the question to be specific about the benefits that are normally lost through removal by impeachment. – Barmar Jan 27 at 16:47
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That is untested and unclear. Even if a Senate trial is held and the Senate votes to convict Trump by more than a 2/3rds majority (not highly likely, but one never knows) Trump will not have been removed from office via this conviction. The literal wording of the exception in the Former Presidents Act would not apply, but a court might hold that the exception did apply in such a case.

No US President has ever been convicted in a Senate Trial, so the exception provision in the Former Presidents Act has never been invoked, and there can be no caselaw.

I won't speculate about the effect if Congress were to change the law. It would depend on just what changes were made, if any.

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  • Great, another potential lawsuit for Trump to appeal up to SCOTUS. – Barmar Jan 27 at 17:32
  • @Barmar Only if the Senate votes to convict. I doubt that will happen. – David Siegel Jan 27 at 17:34
  • Of course, I said the same thing in the question. That's just a component of "potential". – Barmar Jan 27 at 17:57
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No, he will not lose his former president benefits. You hit on the reason - he would not have been "removed from office".

"Impeaching him does nothing; only convicting him would," said Brian Kalt, a law professor at Michigan State University. "And under current law (the Former Presidents Act), convicting him only strips him of those benefits if he is convicted while still in office (which looks certain not to happen)."

As for whether Congress can deny the benefits, the answer is yes:

Congress could pass a new law to strip Trump of his post-presidency benefits, and it would not require the same two-thirds vote that a conviction in the Senate would.

(Same source as above)

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  • Thanks. And while the new law wouldn't require a 2/3 vote, it could presumably be filibustered unless Democrats try to do it as part of budget reconciliation. – Barmar Jan 28 at 1:44

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