That’s not true. The same goes for the other claims on Twitter.
The tweet was posted on Friday, two days after a riot on Capitol Hill by a crowd of Trump supporters triggered a new denunciation from House Democrats. By early Monday, it had more than 181,000 retweets and 725,000 likes. This is what he says: For those wondering if he deserves the blame this time, it means he’s worth it:
3) Loss of life of the entire Secret Service.
4) Loses the chance to run in 2024.
Facts first: The tweet is inaccurate in many ways.
(1) Mr. Trump will only lose his pension at the end of his term if both Houses vote for impeachment and the Senate then votes for impeachment; impeachment itself, without impeachment, will not cause Mr. Trump to lose his benefits.
2) The law clearly states that presidents with lifetime Secret Service protection never receive a $1 million travel allowance.
3) It is not certain that Mr. Trump will lose lifetime Secret Service protection, even if the Senate votes to impeach him and ban his candidacy.
4) Even a Senate vote to impeach Mr. Trump would not prohibit him from running for the presidency in 2024; if the Senate wants to prohibit him from running for the presidency, it would have to take an additional vote on the issue.
Trump would not lose his pension if the House of Representatives indicted him for his role in fomenting the uprising – just as he would not lose his pension if the House of Representatives indicted him in 2019 for trying to use US relations with Ukraine for his own political ends. On the contrary, under the Former Presidents Act, he only loses his pension if the Senate votes to convict and impeach him.
Many average citizens use the word impeachment to denounce and dismiss, so let’s not blame Costiloe for this common mistake, but this claim is false.
Chairmen who have not been charged and have been removed from office are entitled to a lifetime pension equal to the Chief Executive’s annual salary. For Trump, as well as President Barack Obama’s predecessor, this would mean up to more than $200,000 a year.
Work in 2024
Neither the impeachment proceedings in the House of Representatives nor the Senate vote to censure and remove Mr. Trump from office will prevent him from seeking re-election in 2024 or later.
On the contrary, after two-thirds of the senators present voted to remove Trump, a simple majority of the senators present would have to accept a new vote to prevent him from serving as president in the future.
The Senate could not skip the vote on sentencing and release, which requires a two-thirds majority of senators, and move immediately to a simple majority vote on a future disqualification, Ross Garber, an attorney specializing in impeachment and political investigations who teaches at Tulane Law School, told CNN.
There is at least some uncertainty about the disqualification, since no president has ever been removed from office by the Senate and only judges have been removed from office in the future. The language of disqualification in the Constitution means the prohibition of having and enjoying an institution of honor, trust, or profit in the United States; Garber noted that no court or Congress has ever decided whether the presidency counts as an institution of honor, trust, or profit in the United States that the Senate may disqualify from impeachment and conviction. (Garber said he personally feels the presidency is important).
Protection of information
Will Mr. Trump lose Secret Service protection if he is removed from office? Unclear – to us or to the two lawyers we consulted, Professors Stephen Vladek and Josh Blackman.
There are two laws that use different wording on who is considered a former president.
One of these laws, the Former Presidents Act, which we’ve already mentioned, specifically states that a president removed by the Senate is not considered a former president for purposes of obtaining certain post-presidential benefits.
However, another law Obama signed in 2013, the Former Presidential Protection Act, simply authorizes lifetime Secret Service protection for former presidents, without defining a former president in any way.
It is not clear what definition the federal government or the courts will use to decide whether an indicted and deposed asset should receive lifetime Secret Service protection. (Secret Service did not respond to a request for comment).
In short, the tweet was too vague on a topic that was very much in vogue.
Mr. Trump wasn’t sure if he would get the million dollars back. In fact, the travel allowance – technically, the security and travel allowance – is only paid to former presidents who do not enjoy the lifetime protection of the Secret Services. An official in the former president’s office confirmed to CNN that the former president for whom they work does not have access to $1 million in security and travel expenses.
In other words, under normal circumstances – if Mr. Trump completes his term of office as planned and then accepts lifetime Secret Service protection – he would certainly be entitled to it – there would be no million dollars for him.
Tweet the story
When we called Costilo to tell him that we were planning to do a fact check and that much of the tweet was incorrect, he kindly replied: Tear it up. Come on, baby. He said he was nobody, a man with diabetes in Texas who sent a tweet because he saw information pop up somewhere in his Facebook feed, and that made me feel good.
He said he was never sure of the content and was surprised that the tweet had gone so viral. He said he had only 200 followers on Twitter at the time of publication.
I don’t want to soil the world. I just wanted to feel good, he said. It appears that many people had a good time.