Impeachment

The Constitutionality of Trump's Impeachment Trial Is Not 'Crystal Clear'

There are plausible arguments on both sides of the debate.

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Just before 45 Republican senators voted against considering Donald Trump's impeachment on the grounds that the Constitution does not allow the Senate to try a former president, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer dismissed their argument as transparently bogus. "The language is crystal clear, with no ambiguity," the New York Democrat insisted.

If that were true, legal scholars would not still be debating this issue 233 years after the Constitution was ratified. As the Senate prepares to try Trump on the charge that he incited the January 6 Capitol riot with false claims of a stolen election, one thing is "crystal clear": There are plausible arguments on both sides of the debate about whether that proceeding is constitutional.

The clearest historical precedent for Trump's trial is the case of William Belknap, who resigned as secretary of war in 1876 just before he was impeached by the House on corruption charges. While most senators thought Belknap's resignation did not put a stop to the case against him, the minority who disagreed was large enough to ensure his acquittal—the same outcome we are likely to see in Trump's case.

The basic reason for this disagreement is that the Constitution, contrary to what Schumer seems to think, neither explicitly allows nor explicitly prohibits the impeachment of former officials. The question therefore hinges on the history and purposes of the impeachment power, which are open to interpretation.

Michigan State law professor Brian Kalt, who published a comprehensive 2001 survey of the subject in the Texas Review of Law and Politics, argues that the weight of the evidence favors the constitutionality of "late impeachment." But he calls it "a close and unsettled question."

George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley is skeptical of the case for late impeachment, which he says does not easily fit the constitutional text. But like Kalt, he describes the issue as "a close question upon which people of good faith can disagree."

Preconstitutional practice in England and America included impeachment of former officials. Ten of the 12 state constitutions that were written before the U.S. Constitution was drafted addressed impeachment. In those state constitutions, Kalt notes, "late impeachment was either required, permitted, or not discussed, but was nowhere explicitly forbidden."

Did the Framers mean to break from historical practice by limiting impeachment to current officials? If so, they never clearly expressed that intent.

The Constitution says "the President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors." It gives the House the "sole Power of Impeachment" and the Senate "the sole Power to try all Impeachments," while limiting the penalties to removal from office and disqualification from future federal office.

This "poor drafting," as Kalt describes it, leaves unresolved the question of whether the optional penalty of disqualification is enough to justify a Senate trial when the mandatory penalty of removal from office is no longer possible. As Turley sees it, "a private citizen is being called to the Senate to be tried for removal from an office that he does not hold."

Kalt and many other scholars argue that the aims of accountability and deterrence would be frustrated if a president could avoid impeachment or trial by committing "high crimes and misdemeanors" toward the end of his term (as Trump is accused of doing) or by resigning (as Belknap and Richard Nixon did) after his misconduct comes to light. They also argue that disqualification is an important remedy when a president guilty of serious misconduct might plausibly make a comeback.

The "good faith" to which Turley aspires is hard to perceive in the arguments offered by most of Trump's critics and defenders. As Stanford law professor Michael McConnell (who thinks Trump's trial is constitutional) notes, "much of the discussion…consists of motivated reasoning on both sides that no doubt would be the opposite if partisan roles were reversed."

© Copyright 2021 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

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    1. Missing from this article is the fact that the chief justice of the supreme court is to preside over the senate impeachment. If he is not presiding - then it is not constitutional. It's that simple. The constitution explicitly states:

      The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

      If the chief justice is not presiding - we are in uncharted waters. End of story. So we have three major issues here already:

      1) Chief Justice Roberts is not presiding. Instead, a democrat has been installed for his position. This is immediately unconstitutional in my eyes, and in a majority of our sitting senators.

      2) The senate has voted to voice their opinion on the constitutionality of this impeachment. 55% said it was unconstitutional. That means that the constitutionality is in question, and further, no conviction will be achieved, yet the democrats continue on - for the purpose of theater.

      3) Trump is not president anymore. He is a US citizen. And the constitution provides zero fucking framework, for impeaching US citizens. Again - not constitutional.

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      2. If Sullum wants to propose that trying Trump now is constitutional, then he must also admit that trying Obama is also constitutional. We could also try Clinton too. And that was not what "impeachment" was for. It was always for removal of a sitting president - not retroactive impeachment:

        Section 4
        The President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

        1. This sounds like a good argument right up until you realize that Trump was impeached (this second time) while he was still President. Trying to claim that this would set a precedent to allow the impeachment of officials long since out of office is bogus. The only question that needs to be answered is whether the trial for impeachment can occur after the official has left office.

          1. There is the issue of does the clock start when the House votes for articles of impeachment or when those articles are transmitted to the Senate.

            What happens if the House votes for articles of impeachment but never transmits them to the Senate, or waits for a new Senate or House is installed to transmit them.

            The main purpose of impeachment is to remove someone from office but if the person is no longer in office their removal is a moot point.

          2. This sounds like a good argument right up until you realize that Trump was impeached (this second time) while he was still President. Trying to claim that this would set a precedent to allow the impeachment of officials long since out of office is bogus.

            People are asserting that it doesn't matter. That's why I mention it. I agree with you.

            The only question that needs to be answered is whether the trial for impeachment can occur after the official has left office.

            Exactly. This is what we are all discussing.

            If you are going to play the game that it's valid because he was president at the time, then you should also play the game that the chief supreme court justice should be presiding over the trial, because he was the president when he was impeached, rather than an appointed democrat. Democrats want to have it both ways.

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          3. The point that the Chief Justice shall preside over the trial seems to be a very good point. Wouldn’t this be an unconstitutional trial if the CJ was not presiding?

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      4. 1) Trump is not the President, so it is not required to have the Chief Justice preside over the impeachment.

        2) Your math is off. There are 100 Senators. The vote on the constitutionality was 55-45 in favor of constitutionality, so only 45% said it was unconstitutional.

        3) Maybe, maybe not. This is not clear. While not presidents, former officials have been impeached in the past. And even if the House lacks the power to impeach former officials, Trump was still the sitting President when they passed the bill of impeachment. The Senate has the power to try all impeachments with no limitations. Arguably Trump leaving office after impeachment but before the Senate trial is irrelevant.

        1. “Trump is not the President ….”

          Where in the Constitution does it say that someone that is not the President (excluding other federal officials) can be tried by the Senate?

          1. Again, the question you should really ask yourself, if Biden committed an act that you considered to be impeachable, would you push through with impeachment near the end of his term, and hold a trial after he either a) resigned or b) was not re-elected?

            Would you let someone commit a crime against their company and not hold them accountable, just because the person is no longer working for that company? I would think you would hold him accountable. It would seem ludicrous to not do so. But oh some ambiguously worded document doesnt explicitly tell me what to do, so I can’t use my own brain power to tell me what is morally just. Oh ok.

            1. My preferences and feelings have no bearing as to what is, and what is not, permitted under the Constitution.

              “But oh some ambiguously worded document doesnt explicitly tell me what to do, so I can’t use my own brain power to tell me what is morally just. Oh ok.”

              Yup.

              That used to be called the “Rule of Law,” but fuck it, right? Your feelings tell you something else, so fuck the law and let’s just do whatever the hell we want.

              GTFO.

            2. Removal of the president from office is so he can be open to being charged by a court of law for a crime – since you can’t charge a sitting president.

              If they really think Trump incited violence (they don’t), then they would let the FBI go after the now private citizen Trump and put him through a proper trial.

              But doing that would expose the hippity-hoppity nature of our kangaroo court. At least impeachment is “a political process, nothing more”.

              So we are going to let a blatantly partisan impeachment process dictate to the people who we can and can not vote for president.

              Not that voting matters.

          2. “”Where in the Constitution does it say that someone that is not the President (excluding other federal officials) can be tried by the Senate?””

            It can say who can, instead of who can’t. The Constitution does say who can.

            I’m sure there is an officer that would love to use the it doesn’t say I can’t put my knee on his neck as a reason on why he could.

          3. Article I, Section 3

            “The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments.”

        2. Couldnt have been better stated.

          1. Good; you’ve proven yourself to be just one more TDS-addled lefty shit.

          2. disagree. There are gaping holes in it. As laid out below.

            1. The Constitutionality of Trump’s Impeachment Trial Is’ Clear.The Constitution says “the President , Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed SQwd from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors..…..MORE READ

        3. 1) Trump is not the President, so it is not required to have the Chief Justice preside over the impeachment.

          Exactly. Thus unconstitutional. The constitution provides zero frameworks for impeaching US citizens (people not holding any office). The constitution explicitly states the chief justice preside over the impeachment. Impeachment is for sitting officials. The constitution is explicit. Crimes for non officials are to be by jury:

          The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.

          2) Your math is off. There are 100 Senators. The vote on the constitutionality was 55-45 in favor of constitutionality, so only 45% said it was unconstitutional.

          You are right on that. I got them backwards. 55 for, 45 against. All democrats in favor of + the usual compromisers. But the last part still holds true. 55 is not enough for a conviction - thus this whole thing is already dead on arrival. Trump could give them a giant pulsating middle finger and not even show up to participate. When they eventually bring it to a vote, they still wouldn't have the votes.

          3) Maybe, maybe not. This is not clear.

          No. This is very clear. The constitution provides no framework for impeaching US citizens. The constitution says:

          The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.

          and

          The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

          and

          Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

          The last paragraph especially is clear. Impeachment is for removal from office and disqualification from future office. Notice the absence of the word “or” in the above clause. There is no “or” there. There is only an “and.” Thus he cannot be impeached. Thus unconstitutional.

          While not presidents, former officials have been impeached in the past.

          Then it was unconstitutional then too. If we want to make this constitutional, then technically, we can impeach Obama, Clinton, Carter, or potential candidates we don't like during the very next republican majority. And that was absolutely not what the impeachment process was for.

          The Senate has the power to try all impeachments with no limitations.

          Who said? You? The constitution does not lay out that framework. So disagree.

          Arguably Trump leaving office after impeachment but before the Senate trial is irrelevant.

          Disagree. The impeachment process is for removal of sitting presidents and to disqualify them for further office. The constitution says "and" not "or."

          1. The constitution says:

            Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States

            If you would like to assume that "and" means an "or" then technically, congress could vote on potential presidential candidates who have never even held office before, for impeachment, and disqualification from office. That is absolutely not constitutional, and never intended during it's writing.

            1. He was in office when he was impeached, both times.

              If there’s a mechanism to prevent him from running for office again, they should probably use it.

              But since Republicans insist on humping Trump leg to oblivion, that’s not going to happen.

              I know it’s a gamble to let him loose in politics again, but I have a hunch he won’t be quite as popular when he’s four more years closer to dementia.

              1. He was in office when he was impeached, both times.

                Right. Nothing to argue about there.

                If there’s a mechanism to prevent him from running for office again, they should probably use it.

                If there is a mechanism republicans can use so that democrats never ever get elected in any position ever, should they use it? Don't be a tyrant, Tony, Why not just let the people decide buddy.

                But since Republicans insist on humping Trump leg to oblivion, that’s not going to happen.

                Hump a leg to oblivion? What does that even mean? How can one hump a leg until it is totally forgotten? That makes zero sense.

                I know it’s a gamble to let him loose in politics again, but I have a hunch he won’t be quite as popular when he’s four more years closer to dementia.

                I would agree with that. In 2024, he'll be what? 78? That is like Biden's age right now. And Biden is short circuiting to the point that his handlers have literally become the presidency. So no. Trump very much appears to be a single term president. That said, "Trumpism" is here to stay. Trump has fundamentally cast the republican party in his image. Both the left and right admit it. So... get used to it. You'll be seeing a lot more of it. Next term: Unity, Healing, MAGA.

                https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2020/11/05/trumpism-here-to-stay/

                https://www.nationalreview.com/2021/01/trumpism-in-foreign-policy-is-here-to-stay/

                https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/526166-why-trumpism-is-here-to-stay

                https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2020/11/5/this-election-shows-trump-and-trumpism-is-still-popular/

                https://www.newsmax.com/ira-stoll/johnson-nixon-vietnam/2020/07/21/id/978171/

        4. “1) Trump is not the President, so it is not required to have the Chief Justice preside over the impeachment.”

          The Democrats are saying that Trump was impeached while he was president, and therefore, it is constitutional. If that is the case, they must have the Chief Justice preside. Chuck Schumer can’t have it both ways. You either say you are impeaching the president and run it like you are, or else you are not and you end it.

          The way the Democrats are framing this makes it wholly political and therefore unconstitutional.

          1. “Chuck Schumer can’t have it both ways.”
            Two different steps, by two different bodies. There’s no both ways about it.

            The House can only impeach sitting officials.

            The Senate can try all impeachments. There is no limitation in the constitution that the Senate loses the power to try an impeachment just because the impeached official left office after being impeached.

            1. There is no limitation in the constitution that the Senate loses the power to try an impeachment just because the impeached official left office after being impeached.

              Citation needed as the Constitution doesn’t allow for impeaching citizens either – so it’s an open question. It’s quite possible it was written in such a way as to preclude anyone resigning or leaving office in other ways to stop political hangings which benefit no one.

              It’s possible too they meant the exact opposite, but we don’t know since it wasn’t written to include the eventualities.

              One thing I’m sure about though, your opinion is as meaningless as your certainty is.

        5. Where do you get that the CJ does not have to preside over the trial if the President is no longer in office?

        6. RE: POINT 2

          What happens when 45% of a jury votes for acquittal?

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    4. They keep reference Belknapp, except there is one key difference:

      Trump did not resign. He lost an election and, therefore, lost his office.

      He didn’t do so to avoid the charges. He did so to, you know, abide by the Constitution, for fuck’s sake.

      1. They also try to ignore Blount. Decided they lacked jurisdiction.

    5. As if making LEGAL challenges is subversion. Democrats prove they have no right to exist on a daily basis.

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    8. “Belknap resigned before the House had taken any official action”. “Belknap case proposes that the House can impeach and the Senate can try officials even after they have left office.” It is a fact that the Senate once ruled specifically that it had jurisdiction over a late impeachment trial. https://digitalcommons.law.msu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1022&context=facpubs

      1. It is a fact that the Senate does not determine Constitutional questions, especially when they party to the case.

  1. Didn’t we read this article 6 hours ago?

    1. Sullum probably took one look at the comments, and then a deep look at himself in the mirror, and decided that rather than being a shameless worm, he would settle for just being a worm.

    2. The author is a one trick pony.

      1. Can’t Nick and Katherine take him to the vet and have him put to sleep? Boehm too.

  2. The idiocy it takes to pretend congress can “Impeach” any citizen they want…………………………… How’s this even a debate?

    Bring back the Salem Witch-Hunts for the WIN!!! /s

    1. How many of these Senators are senile?

    2. The new woke legal foundation of the 21st century: public judgement of a person’s character. Be approved or be banned. Coming soon to a court/school/company/neighborhood near you.

    3. I think they theoretically could impeach anyone, including a foreigner, that the House wants to make accusations about. But then there’s no way they could proceed from there, because they can’t pass a bill of attainder.

      1. I think they theoretically could impeach anyone…

        No they cannot.

  3. The basic reason for this disagreement is that the Constitution, contrary to what Schumer seems to think, neither explicitly allows nor explicitly prohibits the impeachment of former officials.

    The Constitution neither explicitly allows nor explicitly prohibits tying a rope around your nuts and dragging you around the lanai, either. There’s millions of things it neither explicitly allows nor explicitly prohibits, except that the whole damn intent of the Constitution is to grant certain powers to the government and it is (or used to be) assumed that this means everything not permitted is prohibited. If I give you permission to borrow my car to go to the grocery store, it doesn’t mean you’re free to rape my dog because “that part of the deal wasn’t clear, you never said one way or the other what your stance was on dog-raping.”

    1. This goes back to 5th grade civics which um obviously failed at. The constitution is a vranting of federal powers. The only powers that should be allowed are those positively defined in the constitution. Sullum would rather the opposite and allow for things not banned to be a power of government, not a very libertarian stance.

      1. The only powers that should be allowed are those positively defined in the constitution. Sullum would rather the opposite and allow for things not banned to be a power of government, not a very libertarian stance.

        This exactly. The government should only have powers explicitly granted to it. Not infinite powers assumed with only written limitations.

    2. To be fair, Schumer suffers from common human logic: “If I think something is true it must be a fact”. Only Schumer gets a boost from his exalted office (and from the growing 21st century delusion about subjective reality).

    3. The process is:

      1. The House of Representatives issues a bill of impeachment.
      2. The Senate holds a trial. If the Senate convicts on the bill of impeachment, one of two possible penalties (or both) is imposed.

      It is arguable that the House does not have the power to impeach former officials. However, that is not relevant here. Trump was still the sitting president when the bill of impeachment was passed.

      The constitution gives the US Senate the power to try all impeachments with no limitation at all.

      If the House validly issued a bill of impeachment, the Senate can try it. That the impeached official left office somewhere between step 1 and step 2 is of no relevance whatsoever.

      1. “2. The Senate holds a trial. If the Senate convicts on the bill of impeachment, one of two possible penalties (or both) is imposed.”

        The penalties are (1) removal or (2) removal and disqualification. There is no third option of a stand-alone disqualification.

        1. But the common sense meaning of #2 would be like if I told you to switch off light #1 that’s already off, and then switch off light #2 that’s currently on, then you do nothing to switch #1 but you switch off #2.

          1. What?

            1. I tell you to turn off lights 1 and 2. You find that light one is already off but light 2 is still on. Your argument is that you can’t turn off light 2 because light 1 is already off.

              1. You are missing the point that light 2 can only be on if light 1 is burning.

      2. You know nothing about impeachment as many different penalties can be imposed, however, according to the US Constitution, if a person is removed, they are also disqualified from holding future office and vice versa because that section is written with an AND combining the two punishments, it’s not written with an OR combining the two.

        But other punishments exist such as censure.

        Only that what you’re discussing your 100% wrong about – it’s not either or, or both, if one is chosen the other must be chosen as well based upon the text. Legal text lives and dies based upon exactly what is written and this text is very clear. Your attempts to obfuscate it notwithstanding.

    4. “…except that the whole damn intent of the Constitution is to grant certain powers to the government…”

      I’d have said ‘…to limit the powers of the government…’

  4. Like everything else in DC this is pure theater. Does anyone think there will be a 2/3 majority vote for this? In the mean time they are working on stealing another two trillion from our grandchildren.

    1. They’ve already said they would not have the 2/3 necessary. And still we continue down this road of nonsense.

      1. The more time they spend on this nonsense, the less time they have to devote to doing anything else. By all means, they should proceed with this farce. The more time they spend on it the better it is for the rest of us.

        1. Plus, you and other TDS-addled shits get to cream your jeans, right?

          1. I called it nonsense and a farce and you conclude that I support convicting Trump?

        2. Your wrong. The more time they spend on this farce, the more ink they can spill on it and not the 20 executive actions Biden will issue this week because the ‘Senate won’t take action on them fast enough.’

          1. Like the Senate would take any actions on the EOs without the impeachment? You are delusional.

      2. That’s because the whole point is political theater. It’s pure politics. The constitutionality and the voting on it are irrelevant.

    2. No, of course there won’t be 2/3 to convict. Meanwhile if they hold a trial by any reasonable procedures, the record will either show that Trump was not guilty and is being persecuted, or that Trump was so clearly not guilty that those persecuting him wouldn’t allow the evidence into the record. Trump’s already ahead of the game by being impeached; if they go forward to a trial they’re going to make him look relatively even better.

  5. “The language is crystal clear, with no ambiguity,” the New York Democrat insisted.

    “You know, like in the First and Second Amendments.”

  6. If, as they say, he was impeached while still president, so he should be tried even though he’s now a private citizen, then shouldn’t he be treated as if he’s still president during his trial? And, by that I mean shouldn’t the Chief Justice preside over the trial? If he won’t preside over the trial is he violating the Constitution? I don’t see how any of this is crystal clear.

    1. No no. The constitution clearly allows a member of the opposing political party to be the judge in cases of sham trials.

      1. Since we’re making shot up as we go along, I interpret the commerce clause to authorize us to euthanize democrats at our discretion. To help normalize interstate commerce.

        1. To help normalize interstate commerce.

          It’s a valid argument.

    2. That was the point of the article, none of this is crystal clear. However, the US Supreme Court has made it clear in the past that they will not review impeachment proceedings, so the House and the Senate are free to do just about anything they want (impeachment wise) with no consequences outside of the ballot box.

      1. I know that was the point of the article. My last comment was really a lame attempt at sarcasm about Schumer’s comment. Hey, at least after the trial is over we can start working on that unity thing.

    3. No, the Constitution doesn’t say anything about being treated as if anything. It just prescribes one rule for trying a president (which he’s not), and then leaves things open in all other cases. It doesn’t say the Chief Justice could not preside in other cases. It doesn’t say Joe the Bartender can’t preside either.

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  8. Unlike Donald Trump, who’s term ended on its own, Richard Nixon actually did resign to avoid impeachment. Why didn’t anybody at that time say, “resignation isn’t good enough. We can’t let him escape impeachment by resigning! The aims of accountability and deterrence are being frustrated!“? If those supposed “aims” are as critical as we are now being told they are, were they not equally critical then? Was there any contemporary discussion of the issue, and if so, what conclusions were drawn?

    I remain concerned that this exercise is not about “accountability and deterrence” but about vengeance, and will therefore set a very troubling precedent.

    1. Nixon wasn’t eligible to run again. There was nothing else they could do to him.

      Trump scares the bejueezus out of Romney, the abortion twins, and Conservative, Inc (‘We specialize in failure theatre! Check our price sheets (please specify yuan or pesos!)’), and would probably not like him running in 2024, and making things …. awkward.

      1. Nixon could have run for any number of offices… just not POTUS. An impeachment would have barred him from being a Rep or Senator for example. Not that he tried… but technically he could have because he wasn’t impeached.

      2. Wait a minute…didn’t Nixon serve less than half his second presidential term?

        1. Zombie President Nixon is back!

      3. Which tells you everything you need to know.

        If Trump were really so terrible, Democrats would be ENCOURAGING him to run, not trying to make it illegal.

    2. “Unlike Donald Trump, who’s term ended on its own, Richard Nixon actually did resign to avoid impeachment.”

      Here’s the thing, Nixon resigned before the House could pass a bill of impeachment. It’s arguable that the House lacks the power to impeach ex-officials. Even if that is true, Trump was still the President when the House passed the current bill of impeachment.

      On the other side of the process, the Senate has the power to try all impeachments. No limitations of any kind.

      If Nixon waited to resign until after the House had passed a bill of impeachment the Senate would have had the power to hold the trial despite his resignation.

      1. Should Roberts preside seeing as how this is an impeachment of a sitting pres (at the time of the impeachment, as you say)? The articles are not against a citizen but against an active President making the trial on those charges a trial about the President… which requires Roberts to presides… right?

        I mean… if you’re right (and you make a fair argument) then that line of thinking should run all the way through the process.

        1. The trial is couched as being of a person, not of an impeachment, even though the language looks like the latter. Otherwise you’d be having a trial over what?…whether the proper form was followed in impeaching him?

          1. That still misses my point. If the impeachment was of a president, then Roberts must preside. If the impeachment is of a citizen, then Roberts can go pick his nose instead.

            That Roberts is not presiding would indicate the impeachment is of a citizen, not of a president.

            If that is the case… is this really what we want? A House that can impeach citizens?

            1. What I want is an end to progressivism, period. That. Would end all this stupid bullshit.

    3. I also believe that as part of the deal for resigning Ford pardoned Nixon. At least that is what I remember.

      1. No, Ford pardoned Nixon and gave up his own chance of being elected because he believed that getting the Watergate scandal entirely behind us was good for the country. The “let’s give Bubba a pass for perjury” crowd who started moveon.org claimed the same rationale.

        -jcr

        1. I think moveon.org changed their name to doubledown.org

    4. Nixon resigned with an agreement in place that he would be pardoned in order to help Americans move on from the tragedy.

  9. Doesn’t matter. They don’t have the votes anyway.

    None of this is going to change opinions or anything else.

    1. It matters a good deal. The more time they waste on the impeachment trial, the less time they have to spend doing anything more harmful.

      1. Of course it does! You and the other TDS-addled shits get to cream your jeans for a bit more time!

      2. I bet they can do both.

      3. Wrong. This is a distraction so they can do more harm.

  10. I love this from Trumps new lawyers.

    “ “Insufficient evidence exists upon which a reasonable jurist could conclude that the 45th President’s statements were accurate or not, and he therefore denies they were false.”

    Classic lawyer speak. Really good stuff.

    1. Because it is accurate? Until a widespread audit occurs nobody can determine with absolute certainty that there was no widespread fraud. The assumption that there wasn’t has as much evidence as there was fraud. The few outfits like the Voter Integrity Project show statistical amounts of fraud by random sampling registered mail in voters to see if they voted or not. This is something the government could easily do, but has chosen not to. Likewise in states like GA they had evidence of 5000 double voters that they chose not to prosecute as an example.

      1. “Until a widespread audit occurs nobody can determine with absolute certainty that there was no widespread fraud.”

        Exactly. You can’t prove a negative.

  11. Too late for this impeachment, but the next time we get a president like this, it might be constitutional to have “probation” instead of removal from office.

    For example: what if during Trump’s first impeachment, instead of immediate removal, there was some form of “probation” based on continued good behavior? In that scenario, Trump could have been removed on January 7 and banned from future office, essentially for violating his probation from the first impeachment.

    It’s sort of a second chances system where if a president can be rehabilitated he can stay in office and run for future office. Presidents that can’t be rehabilitated, disloyal their oath of office, could be removed quickly and banned from future office.

    1. So the opposing party should be able to set the conditional execution of presidential powers if they control the house?

    2. Sure thing. You just point to where that is written in the Constitution and we have a deal.

      1. The Constitution doesn’t say they can’t would be an extension of a current BS argument.

        Government in the US was created to be limited. It can do only what is prescribed.

        The citizen in the US was to have freedom, which is to say it can do whatever unless the law says otherwise.

        Our government was not conceptualized has having freedom to do whatever it wanted to the citizens unless the law forbid it. So the concept of government can do it unless told otherwise is an argument by authoritarians.

        1. Even when the Constitution clearly says the government can’t do it, many people argue they can.

          Shall not infringe. Shall make no law.

          There are people who think “shall make no law” is ambiguous.

          1. Hey, a regulation with civil penalties isn’t a law!

            1. Can we penaltax that?

    3. There’s just the little hitch that the constitution doesn’t allow the Senate to just make up new punishments for impeached office holders.

      -jcr

  12. This is stupid, yet Sullum continues in the myth there are 2 sides.

    “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

    In the case of a former President the people clearly have the power. They can elect or not elect in the future. There is simply no need to impeach a former president other than political theater.

    1. WE CAN’T TRUST THE PEOPLE! (especially THOSE people)

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  14. What is the point of impeaching him now? He’s out of office, so the only immediate thing I can think of is to ‘make sure’ he can’t serve even one more term as President at some future undefined date. Keep in mind, Trump is 74 years old. He can’t run again until he’s 78. Literal madness.

    A future date where he would need to win the Republican primary, and another general election. This is, in effect, Democrats saying they believe they are too weak to defeat a 78 year old Trump thus they must cut him off at the knee’s. The assumption must be that Biden is so weak that he can’t beat Trump, even though it certainly appears he already did so.

    It’s really quite amazing that Democrats fear Trump so much. He’s living rent free in their heads, it would seem. He’s no uniquely terrible threat. We’ve had much nuttier and terrible Presidents in the past, assuming anyone knows anything about history (which they probably don’t).

    1. “He can’t run again until he’s 78.”

      Yeah, imagine electing a 78-year-old President. Never gonna happen.

      (rolls eyes)

      1. It’s not that it’s unlikely to happen, it’s that people in that age group have a tendency to drop dead. And either way, it assumes Biden can’t beat Trump in the next election when the evidence says he just did.

        Essentially, one of the few logical reasons to lock someone out of possibly running for President is because you think they’ll win and that is unpalatable for you.

        Resting the whole thing on some kind of sedition charge is laughably transparent. No one was impeached when the senate was recently shot up, were they? What’s the difference? Was there no Democrat to point at and say ‘they caused this sedition’? Weird, considering the Democrats messaging during 2017.

        1. Uh, you’re aware Biden is 78, right? That was my point.

          At least Trump would be beginning a second, not first, term if elected in 2024.

        2. Of,curse Biden or any other democrat will win. They just put those ballots voting for the democrat presidential candidate only through a high speed copier and generate as many ballots as needed.

    2. Well, 51% of the votes were for other candidates, so Biden didn’t get a majority. And polls after the election show a substantial number of Biden votes were not for Biden but against Trump. If you believe that the polls more people voted for Trump than voted for Biden.

      1. It’s the same way Trump won: people voted against Hillary not for Trump. This was honestly expected, at least by me. Biden was the friendly grandpa vote over the drunken spectacle uncle.

        In my opinion, COVID was played up precisely to turn the vote against the incumbent. And personally without COVID I think it probably would have played out the same, but we’ll never know now.

        I fully expect it will taper off now that Biden is in office but the question remains if, after the fire was lit, it can easily be put out again. Or, frankly, if anyone in power wants to put out such a useful fire in the first place.

        A scared and panicked populace, historically, is much easier to control.

        1. Politicians, foremost, have a responsibility to the states that they were elected to represent, and not to an administration that is using them as fodder for party-wide platitudes. Democrat or Republican is incidental to the fact that certain states would suffer profound economic consequences should they foster and support many of these changes. Slowly but surely, state autonomy is being stripped away. This should alarm any reasonable person. Read More.

        2. people voted against Hillary not for Trump.

          I find it amusing that the greatest service that Trump and Obama ever did for this country is the same one: preventing that narcissistic bitch from getting the presidency.

          -jcr

          1. Let’s give Biden some credit. He didn’t run in 2016 when he should have.

        3. And that’s why Bernie lost. He’s not the friendly grandpa. He’s the one that gives you socks for Christmas presents.

        4. COVID was played up to get universal mail in ballots without going through state legislatures. Once that was deemed legal, ballot harvesting guaranteed biden a “legitimate” victory.

        5. Bullshit. Trump picked up al,ost twelve million MORE votes an e did in 2016. He also made significant inroads with black and Hispanic voters, among others.

          There is no way Biden, who literally hid in his absent for months, not only overcame all that that, but also received more votes than Obama did.

          Case closed.

    3. “”What is the point of impeaching him now? He’s out of office,””

      Some people have so much hate they have no problem continuing to fight the dude as he walks away. I’ve seen people that will continue arguing with someone while chasing them down the street. They are so obsessed they can’t quit.

      1. That is pretty much the epitome of progressivism.

    4. What is the point of impeaching him now?

      Legally? None. Politically? It’s a chance for Pelosi, Schumer, and the rest of the hypocrites to pretend they protected us from someone who’s already out of office.

      -jcr

      1. They’re also sending a message to the next outsider to stay out of politics.

    5. Look, once you get your guy down, you then kick ‘im. And then you drop onto him and start punching him in the face.

      And once he’s crying and submissive, you rub his face in the dirt. Maybe make him eat a bug.

      This is all about schoolyard dominance. They do not want anyone even thinking about trying to buck the system again.

    6. “What is the point of impeaching him now? ”

      Political theater. The point is to affect future voting and to tar all Republicans as “domestic terrorists”, “racists”, “white supremacists”, “fascists”, and whatever other loony accusations they can get a critical mass of the electorate to blindly buy into. It’s just a continuation of their current hysteria and paranoia.

  15. Sullum’s TDS has overtaken his brain’s ability to think rationally.

    During the past year, Sullum wrote about 2 anti Trump screeds per week, and 4 – 5 per week since October. Seems like he wants to be in the Guinness Book of World Records (for most anti Trump articles).

  16. Ambiguous, yes. So does that mean Senators should vote nay in the trial?

    If Funny how Republicans are so certain about the 2nd amendment but now see ambiguity.

    People keep saying that wouldn’t this allow for impeaching past politicians? No, Trump was impeached while in office. That is clear and not ambiguous.

    If people don’t like the ambiguity then maybe they should propose a new amendment because obviously, we have a major flaw in the constitution. Are we to say that we have an impeachment-worthy person but because of ambiguity our hands are tied and we have to allow him the chance to hold office again?

    So if the Senate votes nay at the trial the Dems should immediately propose a new bill that declares that “if” the president were still in office they would vote yes and admit it has no teeth. Kind of like censure but making Republicans make a real decision and not hide behind technicalities because they fear the base.

    1. If Funny how Republicans are so certain about the 2nd amendment but now see ambiguity.

      There’s no ambiguity in either. The issue is a straight ‘what are the rules of English’ issue. And straight following the rules of English, *both* things must be done and you can no longer do both things.

      What you want is to ignore the straight rules of English and do something else – which, granted, makes more sense. But its not RAW

    2. Are we to say that we have an impeachment-worthy person but because of ambiguity our hands are tied and we have to allow him the chance to hold office again?

      1. Yes. Because that’s how our law works.

      2. Yes. Because it should not be up to a small group of politically powerful people to be able to eliminate candidates the people want in office.

      You can be a literal felon, serving time in jail, and that is not a bar to serving in Congress at the same time.

      1. ” Because it should not be up to a small group of politically powerful people to be able to eliminate candidates the people want in office.”

        Congress may as well just draw up a list of people the peasants are not allowed to select to represent them.

  17. They also argue that disqualification is an important remedy when a president guilty of serious misconduct might plausibly make a comeback.

    I would point out that not only is being a felon not a bar to holding Congressional offices, but that *actually being in prison* is not disqualifier either.

    In fact, for the vast majority of elected positions, its totally up to the voters whether or not they want a career criminal with a record in office or not.

    Not a small group of ‘elites’ that get to vote on whether or not someone can be excluded from their private club.

    1. These ‘elites’ are elected to office. If voters don’t want a particular office holder impeached and removed and barred from future office, then they can let their elected representatives in the House and Senate know that. If 2/3 of the Senate were to vote to convict Trump, then it would be because a supermajority of voters across the country wanted that to happen. Given how Trump has a hold over the GOP voting base with his cult of personality, that is why he will not be convicted (again). Trump has never had the support of a majority of the country, but those that do support him are so fervent that they are blocking anyone from holding him to account for what he did after losing.

      1. The only people in a cult of personality are the TDS sufferers whose only arguments against Trump are that he did legal and constitutional things that are norm breaking.

        His supporters that voted for him for his policies and actions are not the ones suffering from personality worship.

      2. You’re an idiot

  18. Yes, it is crystal clear. The Senate has no authority to hold a trial for anyone who’s not currently an office holder. That’s why the Chief Justice refused to show up and preside over this kangaroo court.

    -jcr

  19. Since Alcee Hastings (impeached AND removed Federal Judge) can run for congress, can anyone be actually barred from running for federal office, other than for not meeting the age, citizenship (and term limits for pres)? I mean, the qualification for running for President don’t include ‘not been impeached’ and since the constitution doesn’t say it, it must be allowed, right?

    1. It seems that the Senate did not avail itself of the option to bar him from future office, though it could have.

      1. Yeah, given the Senate acquitted Trump in the first impeachment it would be very odd if they moved forward with any punishment afterwards.

        Idiot.

    2. Trump should run for Congress in Florida and arrange to become Speaker.

  20. “Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.”

    Just about all pundits opine the above would prevent an impeachment-convicted Trump from being elected to another term as President. But how do we know for sure that the Office of POTUS is an office of honor, Trust, or Profit?

    Food for thought: https://conlaw.jotwell.com/constitutional-officers-a-very-close-reading/

  21. It’s pretty clear if you ask me. You can impeach someone who has left office to prevent them from seeking future office, but on what basis are we impeaching him? Fear that he’s going to win in 2024. That’s political persecution and subverting a future election and is not a valid or constitutional exercise of power.

    1. The basis for impeaching Trump is that he spent two months whipping up his most loyal supporters with false claims of election fraud, called for them to be there for his speech on Jan. 6, threw in a line or two about being peaceful, but the rest of the time talking about how they needed to “fight” or they’d lose their country. That some of them took him both seriously and literally and started fighting, breaking into the Capitol to “Stop the Steal”, was entirely foreseeable, even if Trump didn’t actually desire it. (One has to wonder how he reacted to news that it had turned violent and that Congress and Pence were forced to hide from the mob. Was he upset that they stormed the building, or was he excited at the possibility that it might work?)

      1. Do you have proof they are false? 80 cases dismissed before evidence was presented is not proof.

        1. “Do you have proof they are false? 80 cases dismissed before evidence was presented is not proof.”

          1) Not all of the cases were dismissed on purely procedural grounds. (Besides, many of the cases were purely about procedures and didn’t allege any fraud.) And then, how many times were Trump’s lawyers offered the opportunity to present evidence of fraud and yet ended up not doing so? Or dropping the cases rather than present evidence?

          2) It isn’t up to me to prove that allegations of fraud are false. It is up to Trump and his side to prove that they are true. That is because if there is proof of fraud, then that means that there is proof that real people committed fraud. Allegations of fraud are allegations of crimes. Give that evidence to state AGs and other authorities that could investigate further and prosecute it. Barr was willing to have the DoJ look into things, but he said that nothing was getting to his people that was worth investigating further.

          That is the big problem with all of this. The claims that the election was ‘stolen’ are claims of criminal activity. That requires substantial and specific evidence of crimes having been committed that holds up to scrutiny. Who are these alleged criminals? You can’t just claim that “democrats” did it, with “it” being vague allegations about voting machines and other conspiracies. You need to name names and explain what they did that was illegal in detail and with corroborating evidence.

          3) Then there are the allegations of fraud that have been shown to be false. Trump tried to tell Georgia Sec. of State Raffensberger what evidence they had, but he tried to explain to Trump how each one was false. Like how there were 5000 dead people that voted in Georgia, but Raffensberger explained that they looked at that and found 2. The video that Trump people have claimed show election workers running ballots through multiple times – nope. The full hand recount matched the machine totals closely enough to fully debunk that idea. It simply couldn’t have happened that many ballots were run through multiple times and yet have the hand count totals match up with the machine totals. (And on all of the races, not just Trump vs. Biden)

          Fraud on the scale necessary to have affected the outcome of the Presidential election would be an enormous undertaking involving hundreds, if not thousands, of people in each of several states. No fraud on anything close to that scale has been shown to have occurred (or even suspected to have occurred) in at least the last 30 years. Even the suspicions of fraud in 1960 were not close to what would have to have happened this time. (Kennedy won Illinois by 8,800 votes and LBJ’s home state of Texas by 46,000. If both had gone to Nixon instead, he would have won the EC. The popular vote margin nationally was 118,574 for JFK.) It is an extraordinary claim to think that Trump was robbed in at least 4 states in a modern election where corruption on that scale would be, quite frankly, really hard to hide. It requires extraordinary evidence.

          1. That is a ton of words which can easily be summed up by simply saying:

            “No, no I don’t have proof.”

      2. talking about how they needed to “fight”

        Rhetoric that has been used hundreds of times in recent history. It’s only now that some idiots try to twist this into some kind of secret code.

  22. Donald Trump on Sunday named two lawyers to his impeachment defence team, one day after it was revealed that the former U.S. president had parted ways with an earlier set of attorneys.

    The two representing Trump will be defence lawyer David Schoen, a frequent television legal commentator, and Bruce Castor, a former district attorney in Pennsylvania who was criticized for his decision to not charge actor Bill Cosby in a sex crimes case.

    Both attorneys issued statements through Trump’s office saying that they were honoured to take the job.
    https://worldabcnews.com/trump-names-new-impeachment-lawyers-after-several-part-from-his-defence-team/

    1. I’m sure they’ve both received threats of disbarment, death, etc.. which is likely why his old lawyers quit.

      1. His last set of lawyers quit for a combination of two reasons: They didn’t want to push the false ‘election fraud’ narrative, since it neither addresses the charge against him nor is true. They wanted more money than Trump wanted to give them from the millions that he has duped out of supporters since November claiming it would go to fight the election outcome.

        1. No one can really know if there was not any election fraud, though. You can’t prove a negative. It’s certainly not relevant to the trial, though.

          1. DarrenM,

            Bertrand Russell addressed that kind of argument a long time ago. No, I can’t prove that there was no fraud, but then, I don’t have to. It is up to Trump and his side to prove that there was.

            1. Idiot – you stated above the “election fraud narrative is untrue” – only to come back here and declare you cannot possible prove such a thing….

              Idiot.

              1. Michael, try taking a breath and think things through. Clumsy argument on my part, sure. But name-calling is not helping your point.

                If I can’t prove that no election fraud occurred (the negative that is impossible to prove), does that mean that it is likely to be true that there was sufficient, widespread fraud in multiple states that would have changed the outcome of the Presidential election last November? What specific allegations of fraud are even still being made that haven’t been disproved again and again? The Antrim County Michigan ‘vote switching’ allegation? Human error quickly corrected and hand audit of all ballots showed no significant difference between that and the reported results. Multiple audits/recounts in Georgia and no significant difference between those efforts and the original count, despite allegations of videos that show ‘suitcases’ of ballots suddenly appearing from under tables being run through machines multiple times. Seriously, why isn’t there anything that holds up to scrutiny by anyone other than pillow magnates?

                If you didn’t know what I was referring to when I mentioned Bertrand Russell, it is the philosophical idea of Russell’s Teapot, which deals specifically with the difficulty of proving a negative. Russell said that a person could claim that there was a Teapot in orbit around the Sun, further out than the Earth’s orbit. That person might then say in response to people that scoff at the idea that they can’t prove that there isn’t such a teapot out there, so his claim must be considered as equally likely as there being no teapot. That is obviously not the case.

                If someone is making a claim that it is an extraordinary claim that is virtually unfalsifiable, then they cannot put the burden on someone that doubts the claim. They must support it themselves. We saw one of Trump’s lawyers actually try and do this:

                “Despite the chaos of election night and the days which followed, the media has consistently proclaimed that no widespread voter fraud has been proven,” John Eastman writes. “But this observation misses the point. The constitutional issue is not whether voters committed fraud but whether state officials violated the law by systematically loosening the measures for ballot integrity so that fraud becomes undetectable.”

                To make things completely clear, what I say is the “false election fraud narrative” is the claim that there is already sufficient evidence to believe that there was significant fraud that would have made a difference in the Presidential election. Rudy, Sidney, Lin Wood, et al., have not released any Krakens. Nothing they’ve put out there has been picked up and carried forward by anyone on the right that cares at all about their credibility with people that aren’t rabid Trump fans. Even Hawley, Cruz, and the like won’t repeat any of the specific allegations from those people. They just talk about the “concerns” of Republican voters that do buy into the conspiracy arguments.

        2. Wow – you know everything don’t you – why lawyers quit, why Trump is pushing this or that defense (before any defense has been pushed forward) – it’s just amazing how wrong you are about all of it though.

          1. I guess I do know everything. I must be one of those elites that just hates the real America.

            In actuality, though, my statement is based on reporting on the topic of Trump’s separation from those lawyers. Maybe it isn’t true, since the reporting is based on the usual unnamed sources. But it seems to fit with Trump’s patterns of behavior. (Journalists use anonymous sources all the time, though. What they are supposed to do is get cross references and corroborate what each source is saying with other sources that are independent of each other. Then, they should give the subjects of the reporting the opportunity to dispute what the unnamed sources are saying and include that in their articles. Believe what you want, and if you have better information on why they quit, feel free to say what it is.)

  23. Is the impeachment trial of an EX president constitutional? This is a decent article about it. But one important thing is missing: Who can tell the Senate “no”? The Senate is the final authority here; the Supr Court won’t touch it; the new Pres won’t even try. The final authority has been consulted and the argument is done.

  24. All of this about impeachment would be completely unnecessary if Republicans would simply admit that Trump deserves to be cast aside and is, in fact, responsible for pushing a false narrative of election fraud in order to try and hold onto power. Of course, they would have to acknowledge their own complicity in not standing up to that false narrative, and how they let their party be turned into a cult of personality around ridiculous character like Trump.

  25. Bogus..Schumer…same thing.

    Old Jake needs to focus on what occurred at the Lincoln Project…or perhaps what continues to go on there…

  26. Still have not seen anyone address the question of what is necessary and sufficient for the House to impeach a prez.

    While a majority vote in the House is necessary it is not sufficient; and while the transmission of the vote to the Senate is necessary it can not happen with out the vote.

    This is not the first time I have posted on this topic. Does the clock on impeachment start after the vote or after the transmission. If one House votes to impeach but it is not transmitted till that House is over and it is transmitted to the next Senate how does that affect things.

    Not to mention what happens if a/the House votes to impeach but it is never transmitted to the Senate.

    Inquiring minds want to know.

  27. So it was OK for Hillary to say votes were stolen and start “The Resistance” within government to disobey all of Trump’s orders?
    Trump said:
    So we’re going to, we’re going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue, I love Pennsylvania Avenue, and we’re going to the Capitol and we’re going to try and give… The Democrats are hopeless. They’re never voting for anything, not even one vote. But we’re going to try and give our Republicans, the weak ones, because the strong ones don’t need any of our help, we’re going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country. So let’s walk down Pennsylvania Avenue. I want to thank you all. God bless you and God bless America. Thank you all for being here, this is incredible. Thank you very much. Thank you.
    I fail to see where that is incitement to anything.
    And then we have this:
    FBI affidavit appears to exonerate President Trump from charges by Pelosi, McConnell

    An affidavit filed by an FBI agent in a criminal case against several people involved in the Jan. 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol undermines claims made by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell that President Donald Trump’s speech to supporters that day was an “incitement of insurrection.”
    An affidavit filed by FBI agent Michael Palian Jr., in a case against Thomas Edward Caldwell, Donovan Ray Crowl and Jessica Marie Watkins, makes clear the violence was the result of pre-planning rather than day-of-the-riot “incitement.”
    https://www.worldtribune.com/fbi-affidavit-appears-to-exonerate-president-trump-from-charges-by-pelosi-mcconnell/

  28. The only justification is that “Orange Man Bad” has resulted in many liberal tears, but there is no constitutional justification whatsoever.
    He is not “President”
    He is not in “Office”
    The trial is not going to be conducted by the “Chief Justice”
    And the logic of it is flawed to the core, because as others have pointed out, if this is ok, then there is nothing to prevent republicans from impeaching Obummer when congress flips next time. Or we could impeach George Washington of Abraham Lincoln, because why not?
    The LibTards are going to loose this one, but they are doing a lot of damage to the country by trying

    1. So you think that the people who vote for Trump’s conviction are going to lose this one?

      1. We’ll see how they do at mid terms. Historically bad for the current office holders. And, How short are voters memories, how much money can big donors generate?

  29. The question therefore hinges on the history and purposes of the impeachment power, which are open to interpretation

    I thought the constitution said what it meant and if only people read it as intelligently as Clarence Thomas, they’d understand.

    Looks like we’re making new law. It’s the consolation prize impeachment. Far more constitutionally plausible than the filibuster.

  30. The impeachment in the House was unconstitutional, why would the trial need to be constitutional?

    1. Why was the House impeachment unconstitutional?

  31. Seems like the statute of limitations for impeachment is over when the president leaves office. It is not, removal “or” disqualification. And Robert’s bowed out and who the hell is this honorable but addled fellow from VT, sen Leahy?

  32. The matter is NOT debatable.

    The federal Constitution disallows the Senate’s trial of Trump impeachment — renders the trial unlawful.

    Trump and any Senator can obtain a federal court declaratory judgment that the Senate trial is unconstitutional.

    If the Senate adjudges Trump guilty and rules that he shall not “hold and enjoy any Office or honor, Trust or Profit under the United States” [U.S. Constitution Article I § 3 clause 7], Trump can obtain a federal court declaratory judgment that a such ruling is unlawful and unenforceable.

    See Leonard R. Jaffee, STRUCTURAL CRISIS: SENATE THREATENS TO USURP PRESIDENCY, CONSTITUTION, AND WILL OF THE PEOPLE, https://leonardrjaffee.substack.com/p/structural-crisis-senate-threatens-cd3
    Prof. Jaffee’s article presents the legal TRUTH of the scope and limit of the Senate’s Article I § 3 clause 7 power. It debunks, thoroughly, ALL arguments that insist, speciously, that the Senate is empowered to try a civil Officer after his Office has ended and he has vacated it.

    1. Ugh! I see that I committed typing errors.

      Corrections:

      1st ¶:
      Trump’s impeachment, NOT “…Trump impeachment….”

      4th ¶, last line:
      judgment that such ruling is unlawful, NOT “…judgment that a such ruling is unlawful….”

      Sorry.

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