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Trump arranged for a group of prostitutes to urinate on the Moscow hotel bed where the Obamas had slept
More from Politics
As the clock ticks down to Donald Trump's presidential inauguration, some people still hold out hope it might not happen.
Or at the very least that the Trump Presidency might not last very long - if he is impeached.
The concept may not be quite so far-fetched if sensational reports in the US are to be believed.
A shocking report, released on Tuesday night, claims Trump arranged for a group of prostitutes to urinate on the Moscow hotel bed where the Obamas had slept.
Can Donald Trump be stopped? (Photo: AFP)
The President-elect engaged in 'perverted conduct' because he 'hates' Barack and Michelle Obama, it is claimed.
The lurid detail is contained in a dossier allegedly written by a retired British MI6 spy for Trump's political opponents.
In response to the reports, Donald Trump tweeted: "FAKE NEWS - A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT!"
While the term impeach in the UK means 'to call into question someone's integrity' or 'to charge someone with treason or another crime against the state' - in the US it is a word used to explain when the holder of a public office is charged with misconduct.
Which is why since the results of the US election thousands of people have been Googling the question: Can Donald Trump be impeached?
Donald Trump isn't in the job yet... (Photo: Getty)
Well, at least one law professor claims there is already enough evidence to remove the President Elect before he has time to put his feet up on the Resolute Desk.
There are a couple of other issues hanging over Trump's head.
One rather unhelpfully called the 'emoluments clause.'
It's a section of the US Constitution that bans office holders from using their position to enjoy benefits, accept gifts or make profit from overseas nations.
While some legal experts say the President is exempt from the cause, others suggest Trump's Worldwide property and hotel empire - not to mention his newly opened hotel just a few minutes' walk from the White House - is just asking for trouble.
Trump insists he's not legally obliged to divest from his business holdings - but that's far from unarguable.
On top of that, there's his decision today to appoint his son-in-law Jared Kushner to a White House job.
That would appear to be against US federal laws prohibiting nepotism - which bans public officials including the President to appoint, employ, promote, or advance members of his family.
Hillary Clinton will remember how close husband Bill came to being impeached himself (Photo: Barcroft)
As The Independent reports, in the US, impeachment is the first step in a constitutionally sanctioned two stage process to remove a president from office for committing “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanours”.
According to experts, those high crimes and misdemeanours can be one of three things:
- "real criminality"
- "abuses of power"
- "violation of public trust”.
Then, ultimately it is up to the House of Representatives to decide if any offence someone is clearly guilty of warrants impeachment.
It decides if there are grounds to consider impeaching a president either via an:
- vote - which should include all members of the House.
If the majority then vote the president guilty on any charges, it will result in an impeachment.
But then the Head of State stays in office until the second stage of the process - a trial by the Senate, which could either convict or clear them.
The US House of Representatives has first say (Photo: Rex)
And then a majority two-thirds of the 100 Senators who sit as jurors on the trial have to find the president guilty before he can be removed from office.
So back to the burning question then: Can Donald Trump be impeached?
The short answer is yes, but it's unlikely.
Not only has it not happened before - Bill Clinton was memorably found guilty of wrongdoing but cleared by the Senate - but both the House of Representatives AND the Senate are now controlled by the Republicans.
And it's not currently thought that they hate him THAT much.
Plus they would need grounds.
The Independent reports that University of Utah law professor called Christopher Lewis Peterson wrote a 23-page article analysing why it would be correct for Congress to impeach Mr Trump.
If Donald Trump was impeached, Mike Pence would be president (Photo: Getty)
Mr Peterson believes Mr Trump has engaged in fraud and racketeering which meet the criteria of “high crimes and misdemeanours.”
But he has not been convicted of any crime.
Trump was set to face criminal proceedings for raping a 13-year-old girl, but the case was dropped.
Which is why those allegations of fraud over Trump University could come back to haunt him.
If he were impeached, then Vice President-elect Mike Pence would become president - and given his stances on everything from gay marriage and racism to abortion and climate change, he's arguably even less popular than Trump.