Under the Former Presidents Act, A Removed President Does Not Receive a Pension, Office Staff, Office Space, and Secret Service Protection (Updated)

But an impeached-but-not-removed President would still receive the benefits.

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Recently, memes have been floating on social media stating that if Trump is impeached, he would lose the benefits of a former President. For example:

Not exactly.

The Former Presidents Act (3 U.S.C. 102 note) provides that "former Presidents" will receive certain benefits:

  • A monthly pension for life at the rate "of the head of an executive department."
  • An office staff, with an aggregate salary up to $96,000 per year (I imagine this rate covers one full-time equivalent).
  • "[O]ffice space appropriately furnished and equipped"
  • The President's widow receives a $20,000 annual pension.
  • Up to $1,000,000 per year for "security and travel related expenses." This appropriation covers secret service protection.

But this statute only applies to a "former President." The statute lists three factors to define this term:

(f) As used in this section, the term "former President" means a person–

(1) who shall have held the office of President of the United States of America;

(2) 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

(3) who does not then currently hold such office.

As I read the statute, a President whose service is terminated by death would still be a "former President." His widow would be eligible for a pension. And a President whose service is terminated by resignation would also still be a "former President." Plus, a President who was removed pursuant to the 25th Amendment would still be a "former President." The only way that a President would not be a "former President" would be if his service was terminated "by removal pursuant to section 4 of article II of the Constitution of the United States of America." The key word here is "removal."

Article II, Section 4, provides:

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.

President Clinton was impeached, but not convicted, or removed. Likewise, President Trump was impeached, but not (yet at least) convicted or removed.

If President Trump is impeached, convicted, and removed before January 20, he would not be a "former President." And he would not be eligible for the former President benefits.

If Trump is impeached, but not convicted and removed before January 20, he would be a "former President." If Trump is impeached before January 20, and convicted after January 20, he would still be a "former President." Why? A "former President" cannot be removed from a position he no longer holds. At most, former-President Trump could be disqualified from "hold[ing] and enjoy[ing] any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States."

Update (1/10/20): I think another statute may provide secret service protection, even for a removed President.

3 U.S.C. § 102(g) provides:

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Administrator of General Services up to $1,000,000 for each former President and up to $500,000 for the spouse of each former President each fiscal year for security and travel related expenses: Provided, That under the provisions set forth in section 3056, paragraph (a), subparagraph (3) of title 18, United States Code [section 3056(a)(3) of Title 18, Crimes and Criminal Procedure], the former President and/or spouse was not receiving protection for a lifetime provided by the United States Secret Service under section 3056 paragraph (a) subparagraph (3) of title 18, United States Code; the protection provided by the United States Secret Service expired at its designated time; or the protection provided by the United States Secret Service was declined prior to authorized expiration in lieu of these funds.

This statute only provides to a "Former President." And the statute defines a "former President" as not removed.

But the cross-referenced statute, 18 U.S.C. § 3056, is not limited to non-removed Presidents. It provides:

(a) Under the direction of the Secretary of Homeland Security, the United States Secret Service is authorized to protect the following persons:

(1) The President, the Vice President (or other officer next in the order of succession to the Office of President), the President-elect, and the Vice President-elect.

(2) The immediate families of those individuals listed in paragraph (1).

(3)Former Presidents and their spouses for their lifetimes, except that protection of a spouse shall terminate in the event of remarriage. . . .

This statute does not define "Former Presidents" to exclude removed Presidents.

I think 3 U.S.C. § 102(g) reflects an earlier version of the statute, in which Presidents received lifetime protection. But, GAO observed that in "In 1994, the law was amended to rescind lifetime protection for former presidents and their spouses if the president's term of office began after January 1, 1997."

Perhaps the best way to reconcile these statements is that 18 U.S.C. § 3056 permits the Secretary to provide protection for a removed President. Though I'm not sure that the $1,000,000 would cover those costs.

Update (1/11/21): Daniel Dale of CNN wrote a fact-check column on the secret service claim. For once, Steve Vladeck and I agree on something–the law isn't clear.

Would Trump lose Secret Service protection if he was removed from office? It is not clear—to us or to two legal experts we consulted, law professors Stephen Vladeck and Josh Blackman.

There are two relevant laws that use different language on who counts as a "former president."

One law, the Former Presidents Act we mentioned earlier, specifically says that a president who gets booted by the Senate does not count as a "former president" for the purpose of certain post-presidency perks.

However, another law signed by Obama in 2013, the Former Presidents Protection Act, simply authorizes lifetime Secret Service protection for former presidents—without defining "former president" in any particular way.

It is not clear which definition the federal government or the courts would use when it came to deciding whether an impeached and removed Trump should get lifetime Secret Service protection. (The Secret Service did not respond to a request for comment.)
In summary, the tweet was too definitive on a point that is very much up in the air.

 

 

NEXT: The Case for a Swift Impeachment

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  1. Impeaching and removing Trump, and banning him from future office, is the worst thing the Democrats could do. It turns Trump into a martyr, a rallying point, but it also frees Republicans from having to back him for 2024. If they leave him be, the Republicans will be twisting in the wind for four years, not knowing if Trump will run again, making it hard for anyone else to come forward as his replacement.

    1. Not to mention frees him to become a very dangerous man because while I don’t believe he intended to incite what actually happened on Wednesday (I expected it to be loud & boisterous, but to be stopped/held at the perimeter), he could.

      As has been mentioned here and elsewhere, SCOTUS has placed a very high bar that has to be met for any criminal prosecution for speech and were one so inclined, it wouldn’t be difficult to cause a lot of problems while staying inside what is legally permissible.

      I’m not saying that he *would* do this, only that he could. And other than his own conscience, there is nothing to stop him as you’ve already ruined his reputation, he has nothing left to lose.

      People with nothing to lose are *very* dangerous…

      1. Were I a Republican-conservative law professor with stated aims of (1) promoting the hiring of more conservative law professors at reputable (non-conservative) law schools and (2) making conservative positions more popular among a broader audience, I doubt I would introduce — or continue — a blog that attracted the Volokh Conspiracy’s followers.

        But . . . I do not prefer backwardness, bigotry, and superstition to reason, science, and modernity, so I can’t think like a right-wing law professor.

        Carry on, Cruz-class Conspirators!

        (And look at the bright side: Good law schools likely will not be the market for Federalist-Heritage-Koch-Republican-Trump candidates any more, consequent to recent events, but they will probably let the ones they already have aboard stay until replacement, assuming good behavior.)

        1. “When you tear out a man’s tongue you are not proving him a liar, you’re only telling the world that you fear what he might say”

          Kirkland, you are a man who is very much afraid…

          1. Mostly, I’m afraid my boots aren’t leaving sufficiently lasting marks on right-wing tongues.

            1. Ugh. You’re here too? I was just learning to ignore you at the reason site. This blog is different. More law, less policy.

              First, the Conspirators are responsible only for what they write, not who follows what they write or comments on it. I won’t be judging Professor Blackman’s statements according to the comments.

              Have you been to law school? I went to Georgetown Law, and the four law professors there who lean right emphatically do not “prefer backwardness, bigotry, and superstition to reason, science, and modernity.”

              The trope is true: law school teaches you to think like a lawyer. And a good lawyer is able to be dispassionate, fair, and reasonable. Sometimes that will mean supporting something as legal, even if you do not prefer it as policy.

              I can’t even find a policy argument here, simply an analysis of the options and possible results of Trump impeachment/removal.

              Maybe you are a mere troll. Honestly, I can’t tell.

              1. Another voice from the ‘storm the Capitol and appease ignorant bigots’ gallery heard from . . .

                1. I take it you didn’t actually read what she wrote?

                  1. She wrote that the Conspirators are not (or should not be) accountable for the consequences of lathering up right-wing losers. That is a silly assertion.

                    1. Time to jail people for thoughtcrimes!

                    2. Scary thing is that people like Kirkland WOULD jail people for thoughtcrime.

                    3. Well, it’s more accurate to say that I don’t think that the law professors who write here should be held accountable for who chooses to comment. You said that if you were someone hoping to increase the presence of more conservative law professors on campuses or to persuade people to consider conservative viewpoints, you would not contribute to “a blog that attracted the Volokh Conspiracy’s followers.”

                      You are detestable and add nothing of value to any conversation. As far as I can tell, you are not engaged in ANY good-faith dialogue. You show up to slam conservatives and admit you cannot put yourself in their shoes. You are a troll.

                2. Typical ad hominem reply when RAK has nothing of substance to say except to display his lack of any good will.

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                  2. Has RAK ever said anything of substance on these comment threads?

              2. I have repeatedly demanded that Artie say something in lawyer. There is no evidence of the slightest legal training. I am not a lawyer, but even I have used the word, utterance.

                Artie is an America hating Democrat.

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      1. Fanny. This is not the time to mention Google. It must be seized in civil forfeiture. They are agents of the Chinese Communist Party. The officials must be arrested, tried, and summarily shot in the head in the courtroom basement. Donate their organs.

  2. Hmmm…interesting.
    As a current Trump hater (who did vote for him and contribute to him in 2016), I’d like to see him impeached and convicted. But, frankly, I’d like to see even convicted presidents provided with Secret Service protection for life. Deliberate failure to provide this would often result in the loss of their life, and that’s a punishment no past president deserves, methinks.
    Interesting to see that a president of any length gets the pension, office, secret service, etc. Does that mean that if President Santamonica needs an appendectomy operation, I temporarily pass the office to my VP, and I then retake the office a few days later, this VP gets all those benefits for her lifetime, after only 2 days of service as president? If Trump resigns on his final day and Pence becomes (the shortest-serving in our history) president for the last half-hour, does he get that same lifetime of goodies as well?

    1. You have been played by the tech billionaires that own the media and the Democrat Party. Trump stood between us the US becoming Venezuela, a permanent one party state, in permanent abject poverty. When the economy is destroyed by the Democrat Party, the US will no longer be able to compete with the military power of the Chinese Communist Party.

      1. hahahahahahahha

        ha

        trumpski turned us into a third world country

        if he wasnt’ the most unpopular president in history he would have made us look worse than Venezuela

        1. What a nonsensical response. Meaningless drivel. Making us look bad to communists such as yourself doesn’t hurt the country. Putting your fellow travelers in charge does.

      2. Didn’t Trump counties account for less than a third of national GDP? You guys are not very good at not becoming Venezuela.

        1. Or we’ve had it stolen from us.

    2. I believe that if Trump were removed on the 19th, and Pence became President for a single day, once Biden is inaugurated Pence would become a “former President” and entitled to the complete set of goodies. And I wouldn’t begrudge him them.

      1. It does sound like Mike Pence is more in need of protection than Trump.

        1. Were your antifa friends planning on murdering him too?

          1. I believe the crowd of insurrectionist were chanting to hang him. That is who I am referring to in my comment.

            1. Pence needs to read his Shakespeare.

              “Had I but served my God with half the zeal I served my King, he would not have left me, in mine age, naked to mine enemies.”

    3. I a frankly surprised that USSS protection is withdrawn because of the political liability if anything were to happen. Goldwater likely would have defeated JFK in 1964, he might not have even gotten the nomination (it’s why he went to Dallas), but once he was murdered, he became a hero.

      Sometimes you have to think about the common good.

      1. I think Trump can afford to hire bodyguards.

        1. Great way to deflect the principle. EVERY recent former President has enough money to afford their own protection, even if they make it from speeches and dodgy deals.

          1. And it’s a stupid point anyway, because Secret Service, having government power, can do things that private security can’t, no matter how much you can pay them.

            1. Or at least that we don’t want them doing. Some of the things I heard about Blackwater did make me a bit nervous….

              It’s far better to pay for the government to do it — they are answerable in ways that a private outfit isn’t.

              Remember too that the Mafia has “security” — people don’t steal things from them, at least not more than once…

    4. Note that the Former Presidents Act does not actually discuss Secret Service protection, and 18 U.S.C. § 3056(a)(3) authorizes the Secret Service to protect “Former Presidents”, without specifying that that doesn’t include those who have been impeached, so I’m not totally sure Prof. Blackman is correct on this point.

      1. I think removing secret service protection would be a mistake regardless of anything else. Doing so is just asking for a crazy to try to murder him.

        1. And possibly a lot of innocent bystanders.

          I neither know nor want to know what the USSS has successfully prevented, but remember that Reagan was not the only person that Hinkley shot back in 1981. And that one of Oswald’s bullets hit the TX Governor.

          Were a perp to use a bomb rather than a bullet, the carnage could be a lot worse. Exponentially worse…

          1. ” Exponentially worse”
            Please learn what “exponentially” means and stop using the word when you only mean much.
            “exponentially” describes a rate of a process. Not the size of an object or effect

            1. Merriam Webster includes amongst it’s definitions:
              “involving a variable in an exponent”

        2. Nobody’s going to remove SS protection.

      2. The Former Presidents Act doesn’t provide an appropriation for Secret Service protection, it provides one in lieu of that protection.

        (g) There are authorized to be appropriated to the Administrator of General Services up to $1,000,000 for each former President and up to $500,000 for the spouse of each former President each fiscal year for security and travel related expenses: Provided, That under the provisions set forth in section 3056, paragraph (a), subparagraph (3) of title 18, United States Code, the former President and/or spouse was not receiving protection for a lifetime provided by the United States Secret Service under section 3056 paragraph (a) subparagraph (3) of title 18, United States Code; the protection provided by the United States Secret Service expired at its designated time; or the protection provided by the United States Secret Service was declined prior to authorized expiration in lieu of these funds.

    5. Does he get Secret Service protection if he’s in prison? I seriously doubt that’s going to happen but it’s an interesting question.

      1. I believe they did when the Bush daughters got arrested for underaged drinking — although that was just an arrest.

        1. Only if that happened while he was President. The children of former presidents over age 16 are not eligible for secret service protection.

          1. It happened back in 2001 when they were both 19 and GWB had just taken office. Both are married with children now.

            Not sure if it was a physical arrest or summons arrest though, or even what it is in Texas.

            Chelsea Clinton got caught for the same thing in Northampton (MA) when she was there to tour Smith as she applied to colleges. Her mother covered for her, saying that both glasses of wine were hers.

      2. I’m not sure Joe wants to set the precedent of a elderly former president going to prison.

    6. The XXV Amendment distinguishes between the VP becoming President, and the VP assuming the duties of the presidency as Acting President. Basically, the VP only becomes President if the original President permanently leaves office, through death, resignation or removal. In that instance, I would assume the VP gets all the retirement parting gifts. Otherwise, he has to make do with the VP package.

    7. “Does that mean that if President Santamonica needs an appendectomy operation, I temporarily pass the office to my VP, and I then retake the office a few days later, this VP gets all those benefits for her lifetime…”

      I don’t think so. The 25th says that the VP assumes the powers as acting president, not that he holds the office.

      “If Trump resigns on his final day and Pence becomes (the shortest-serving in our history) president for the last half-hour, does he get that same lifetime of goodies as well?”

      I think he does.

      1. You know, were Trump denied these goodies, payback in 2023 could be eliminating them for all the other living Presidents.

        Carter, Clinton, GW Bush, & Obama — three Democrats and a RINO, none of whom are particularly popular with MAGA folk. It isn’t like Reagan is still alive, or even Nancy Reagan.

        Precedent exists outside the courtroom as well, and what the Slash & Burn Democrats fail to comprehend is that if they chop down all the principles of decorum in their ruthless pursuit of power, they won’t be there to protect them & theirs when the tide inevitably turns.

        This is why we didn’t impeach Obama — he hadn’t actually committed a crime. Clinton committed perjury, an actual “crime”, and he lost his bar card for it. It wasn’t what he did with Monica but lying about it, under oath in a sexual harassment proceeding brought under the auspices of a law that he’d actually signed.

        We despised Obama the way that many despise Trump, but we didn’t want to violate the principle that the POTUS actually has to commit an actual “crime” before you can impeach him. Now that the Dems have eliminated that, I can guarantee you that a GOP Congress will impeach Biden & Harris for *something* — maybe as petty as not wearing color-coordinated outfits….

        Go after one former President and the other side will go after the rest…

        1. For the same reasons, the Senate has never convicted a President — coming closest the first time with Andrew Johnson. I don’t think it ever will because of the precedent it would establish.

          Biden & Harris deserve to be impeached out of spite — but as much a I’d like to see a MAGA President, I shudder to think of the consequences of a MAGA Speaker being elevated to POTUS in this manner.

          Remember that it was Gerry Ford who replaced Nixon, not Carl Albert who was Speaker at the time — the Republicans did not lose the Presidency to the Democrats. (Or Democratics if you wish…)

          1. Speaker would not have become President in the Nixon example. Agnew, who was VP, resigned and Nixon nominated Ford to replace him as VP. Ford was confirmed and became VP. Then Nixon resigned, and Ford became President. At not time were the offices of President and VP empty, which is the only way the Speaker can move up.

            1. But the Senate didn’t have to confirm Ford.

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    9. I don’t think you get so lucky, no. Unlike when a president resigns, dies, or is removed, the Vice President only becomes acting president in a temporary 25th amendment handover situation like the one you describe.

      But Pence, yes, in that hypo. He becomes president.

      1. Well, if it were true, Bush ’41 would also have been Bush ’42 in that the 25th Amendment was instituted when Reagan got shot and was in surgery.

        1. Actually, the 25th was not invoked when Reagan was shot. The administration wrote up a letter as a precaution, but it was never signed nor processed further.

          https://reagan.blogs.archives.gov/2017/07/26/the-25th-amendment-section-4-and-march-30-1981/

      2. Section 1:
        “In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.”

        Section 3:
        “Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.”

    10. Vice presidents whose presidents leave office temporarily pursuant to the 25th amendment, sections 3 or 4, are not presidents, but Acting Presidents. They way I read it, the Former Presidents Act wouldn’t apply to former Acting Presidents.

      They also don’t get to nominate new vice presidents.

      -dk

  3. This is a second phony, pretextual impeachment. The Democrat Party fears Trump may run in 2024.

    1. The protesters at the Congress were the same as the Pro-Democracy protesters that invaded the Parliament of Hong Kong. The Chinese Communist Party is crushing the pro-democracy movement of Hong Kong. The Democrat Party is no different in the US.

      1. Daivd, the British have a LOT to answer for about Hong Kong.

        1. They should have never honored that lease.

          The American Revolution was a gigantic lawyer mistake. Independence of India killed millions in ethnic cleansing. Being a British colony would have prevented unimitigated catastrophes.

    2. You kinda know that both Biden & Harris will be impeached in 2023, don’t you…

      1. Payback is a bitch.

      2. Doubtful. Even if the Republicans retake control of the House and Senate they won’t do it. They don’t have the spine for it.

        1. RINOs don’t, but they are going to get purged.

    3. It’s a phony, pretextual impeachment, but with a big difference. During the first impeachment, we still had vaguely free media and platforms.

      The left has now gone full 1984, they’re on a rampage deplatforming anybody who so much as annoys them, and colluding to shut down any platforms that won’t join in the cancel mob.

      1. Notably, none of your remarks are accurate.

        1. Parler Has Been Suspended From Apple, Google And Amazon

          All three companies moved as one to shut down Parler because they refused the demand to start censoring in the same manner as left-wing social platforms do.

          It’s not just Trump being banned, there’s a long and growing list of people being banned in the last few days. It’s a real rampage.

          1. Seize these tech billionaire platforms in civil forfeiture. The tech billionaires are kowtowing to the Chinese Communist Party for access to its market, and for their enrichment. They own the media and the Democrat Party. Pelosi and Harris are from the San Francisco area.

            1. Dalvd — the Sherman Act includes treble damages.

              1. Years if not decades of massive lawyer employment on all sides. It is not clear if the Sherman Act is constitutional.

            2. That’s not enough. We need a Pinochet to appear who will take care of all of these traitors.

              1. I am sugesting a remedy for the billion internet crimes a year. Millions are committed by the tech billionaires, in overstating viewerships, and defrauding advertisers. Half the viewers are likely to be not real.

              2. And what makes you think you would survive the rule of a Pinochet?

          2. “All three companies moved as one”

            IANAL but isn’t “group boycotting” a per se violation of the Sherman Act? And now that Amazon has joined in, it isn’t just a coincidence that Apple & Google did this the same day…

            Remember Windows 95 and the Netscape suit that Microsquish never really recovered from? Janet Reno was involved, but there were also 20 state AG offices involved in that one.

            See: https://www.theringer.com/tech/2018/5/18/17362452/microsoft-antitrust-lawsuit-netscape-internet-explorer-20-years

            1. The problem is, “if you strike at the king, you’d best kill him”, and from their perspective, they DID kill him last Wednesday.

              If they’d failed, they’d be in a hell of a lot of trouble now, but that’s why they went all in.

              Serious anti-trust action against them conspiring against conservatives, under a Democratic administration? Doesn’t seem likely.

              1. Parler can file its own private suit, and pick the venue.

                State AG’s can file suit too.

                I cancelled my Amazon Prime and Kindle Unlimited subscriptions yesterday. I don’t nee three-quarters of what buy from Amazon anyway.

                1. Private antitrust suits are easiest to bring when they can piggyback on a previous government action.

            2. Where is the ACLU? It needs to sue on behalf of Trump. These platform are government size entities, and have acted as quasi-governmental organizations, but without due process. Their private status is total bullshit.

          3. We are no longer a country of laws, and this isn’t a debate over policy anymore. We are in a street fight for power. Thanks to the democrat trash.

            It’s time to oblige them.

            1. 65 million gun owners of 300 million guns. Do you remember the DC sniper? One guy and a kid brought a city to a standstill.

            2. No threats of violence here.

              1. Just reminiscing about the past.

          4. Again, your remarks are inaccurate.

            Try once more, without the bullshit.

          5. Maybe Parler should obey the terms of service they agreed to when they signed up.

            Or are RWNJ’s exempt from honoring their contracts?

      2. Brett, when we did that to the left in the 1960’s, notably over the Vietnam war, they developed a whole lot of new media. Notably, using the then-new technologies of the photocopier and Ditto machine, they produced underground newspapers which were widely circulated. They even published their own books — “Our Bodies, Ourselves” comes to mind.

        It will be interesting to see what Parlar does tomorrow morning — I suspect they will sue Google & Apple. It also will be interesting to see what Rush Limbough – Apple’s biggest booster — says in response to this.

        You’ll notice they did this on a Friday afternoon. I think they went to far and didn’t expect Parlar to say “no.” And I think this will backfire on them.

        1. Parlar?

          Has Parler already inspired another off-brand, right-wing, separatist knockoff?

          (Enjoy the ’round-the-stage virtuosity that begins at 11:45 or so. Dave Roe changed the way I play bass guitar that day.)

        2. What Rush LImbaugh is likely to say is something along the lines of, “Don’t bother me, I retired at the end of the year, and am going to die at any moment from terminal cancer, and I just want to spend a few peaceful weeks with my family first.”

          As far as backfiring goes, basically everybody I know on FB is jumping ship for MeWe. I suspect Zuckerberg’s numbers are going to look pretty ugly in a week or two.

          1. I always despised Facebook. Clearly my instincts were spot on.

            1. Wow, you did not like Facebook. And from way back. What a courageous and unique position . . . why, there are/were only 30 million people who thought like you.
              Don’t the the door hit you in the ass on your way out. (And that’s coming from a guy who also does not like Facebook.)

              On the other hand, you *do* get my respect for actually using the name “Facebook,” like a normally-functioning human being. Never understood the 10-year-old-child’s attraction to changing names to “Farcebook” or Rethuglicans or DemocRats, etc, as posters like highly-educated Shit-for-brains Dr. Ed feels she must do.

          2. I suspect Zuckerberg’s numbers are going to look pretty ugly in a week or two.

            Can we check on this in a week or two?

            1. Well Dr. Ed’s a pretty honest broker, so I’m sure he’ll be happy to acknowledge that he made a mistake once the numbers are in.

  4. The immunity of the tech billionaires behind the media and the Democrat Party justifies violence in formal logic. The contrapositive of a true assertion is always true. Because there is no legal recourse against them, save for civil forfeiture, violence is justified. I do not support attacking the media, the Democrat politicians, or political institutions. They are the agents of the tech billionaires. Frustrating that they attacked our nation from inside, made an extra $trillion, and nothing is being done.

  5. I understand the interest attorneys would have in pondering where the law could take us, but it’s something of a wasted exercise. The Senate won’t remove Trump, There’s a huge risk for any Republican who supports conviction. There’s no risk to a Republican senator who simply votes to drop the issue because Trump is no longer president. Just the opposite for Dems.

  6. This forum is not adequate for discussion of the length, breath, and depth of crimes Donald Trump has committed. Given the facts that Trump;
    • Dissolved the Office of Pandemic Response
    • Eliminated the position of Resident Advisor for Infectious Diseases in Wuhan China
    • Ignored and outright denied the validity of evidence regarding Corona Virus
    • Obstructed flow of necessary medical and protective equipment for patients and medical personnel
    • Derelict in advancing guidance regarding covid 19 at the federal level
    Nefarious by design, this administration has shown overwhelming panache for usurping the structural basis of dignity, moral fiber, humility, honor,
    and the concept of what the Constitution represents, while being adored by the people he despises most. The mendacity of this president and hundreds
    of co-conspirators will post as one of the most heinous, hedonistic, disasters of the planet. Every case of covid-19 is assault by a deadly weapon. Every death is premeditated murder. In one year, 83.000,000 cases and 1,300,000 deaths globally is nothing less than a crime against humanity.
    https://gabmaxinc.com

    1. Most of the reported deaths were deaths with COVID, not deaths from COVID. The failures were intentional by the Democrat Governors seeking to take down our President. The majority of excess deaths are from untreated cancer and heart disease, and the rest. They went untreated because the Democrat Governors shut down travel and outpatient medical care. Then there has been in a surges in murders, suicides and overdoses from the poverty caused by the shut down of the economy. The neo-Marxists dropped the world GDP by $4 trillion, and caused 100 million starvation deaths from poverty. The economic shut down for what is not worse than the flu is the single biggest mistake in human history. The mass murder of poor people is larger than that committed by the tyrants of Nazism and of Communism by double.

      Your stale Democrat talking points omit the bigger death toll caused by the Democrat Governors decision to destroy the economy. That was done to get rid of Trump, on behalf of the tech billionaires, owners of the media and of the Democrat Party.

      1. In my own county, Humboldt in California, a 35 year old man died in an accident, was tested for COVID, found positive, and counted as a COVID death. He would have been the tenth in the county, but the sheriff, to whom the coroner reports, demanded a review and the count was reduced back to nine.
        All the others were in nursing homes when they got sick. The first death was a 97 year old woman.

        1. There are likely 100 million young people who are infected, and have zero symptoms, not even loss of smell ability. The shutdown was not effective. The most closed places had the highest infections. This is likely weaker than the flu.

          I can put pictures of car crash victims on the front pages, and get driving banned. The lie is in not providing the denominator, that 100 million miles were driven before that crash.

        2. In NY, Cuomo issued a press release stating, COVID could be presumed, and no longer require a lab test. If your accident victim coughed or had a drippy nose before dying, he would be counted as a COVID case.

          Three quarters of the excess deaths were from untreated heart disease, and cancer, due to the shutdowns by the Democrat Governors.

      2. liar

        really, just stupidity

        it is all a worldwide conspiracy to take your guns away

        foolishness

      3. One would think with all the words your speak-and-spell translator spits out, that at least some of them would be correct.

        Amazingly you buck the odds and come up with nothing but jibberish and bullshit.

        1. Jason. You need to disclose the amount the Chinese Communist Party is paying you for each comment.

          1. Ok:

            Nothing.

            Your turn! Isn’t this fun? What software do you use to translate your posts?

              1. Negative!

                I wonder what the speak and spell will come up with next? Maybe something about favorite colors of mine?

                1. Jason,
                  Daivd is a Russian bot. Or perhaps a Russian troll. His comments are useful only for the unanticipated humor quotient.

                  1. Only an agent of the Chinese Communist Party talks like that, certainly not any American lawyer.

                2. Hi, Jason, what are your preferred pronouns? I do not want to offend you nor hurt your feelings.

    2. And now for the actual facts:

      HOAX: • Dissolved the Office of Pandemic Response
      FACT: Consolidated the office into the Counterproliferation and Biodefense Directorate

      Hoax: • Eliminated the position of Resident Advisor for Infectious Diseases in Wuhan China
      Fact: There is no such post. There was an epidemiologist in the Chinese Disease Control agency.
      Fact: China was censoring information about the outbreak and not sharing information about it even with the WHO.

      • Ignored and outright denied the validity of evidence regarding Corona Virus
      Outright Lie

      • Obstructed flow of necessary medical and protective equipment for patients and medical personnel
      Fact: Direct what was left of the PPE stockpile from the Obama Administration to be released as fast as possible.

      • Derelict in advancing guidance regarding covid 19 at the federal level
      Fact: Guidance is the CDCs job.

      Seriously, how do you even come up with this BS?

      1. Remember that the stockpile was supposed to be for a Bioterrorist Attack — not a Pandemic.

        What is not being said is that if the hospitals had spent less on executive salaries and fancy buildings and more on having an inventory of basic supplies, there wouldn’t have been a shortage of PPE in the first place.

        Ten months before this, the same hospitals had run out of basic drugs like Heparin. Seriously — they had been going with a “just in time” supply system and a little glitch created a crisis. And did they learn from that and think about what else (i.e. PPE) they might like to have a few week’s supply of — of course not…

        1. There is a by now well-known rule that every anecdote Trump provides that includes someone saying, “Sir” is a fabrication.

          There is a similar principle that applies to every statement that Dr. Ed starts with “Remember that.”

          1. David,
            Why do you doubt the statement about “Just in time” supply chain management. It is a common US business practice to minimize quarterly operating costs.

            1. Don,

              Before swallowing all the crap about how Trump did nothing wrong, may I suggest you read this.

    3. Good grief – will we ever escape this argument?

      Premeditated murder? Really? You think Trump carried around the required mens rea, that he decided that certain people should die, that he thought it out and planned it? Because that’s premeditated murder.

      Trump is no statesman, but he’s a decent politician. How does killing hundreds of thousands of Americans help him win? Because that is what you are accusing him of.

      You are even giving him credit for the global mortality rate. Maybe he should have said it was very serious sooner. I have not been impressed with his approach to the virus. That said, I don’t hold him accountable for nature. I am not foolish enough to think that any statement from Trump would have stopped the virus in its tracks. It’s a virus – we can’t control it. That’s the Big Lie of 2020 – humans can completely control nature.

      I don’t like Trump, never have, and can also understand that he is not solely responsible for the spread of a virus (certainly not on other freaking continents). So which one of us should don the tin foil hat? The one who dislikes Trump but sees that a virus is a virus and there is little that ANY president can do to stop it? Or the one who prefers to accuse a president of murder because people got sick?

      I will say that it requires less thought and allows you to dodge any uncomfortable cognitive dissonance if you blame Trump and classify COVID deaths as 1st degree premeditated murder on the part of the man you loathe, but that doesn’t make it true. It suggests that you are lazy. Your arguments fall apart with even minor scrutiny, so I suggest getting plenty of Reynold’s Wrap for your family ASAP.

      1. Well put.

        My only addition (or caveat) is that negligence and poor leadership can cause more damage than deliberate murder. It is that which Trump is arguable guilty of, not murder. Using terms like murder is at best a caricature that beclowns the person asserting it.

      2. Premeditated murder? No.

        Negligent homicide? Absolutely.

    4. You democrats are insane assholes. Your list is bullshit.

  7. I don’t see a former POTUS Trump taking the salary, the widow’s benefit, or the office. He is already a billionaire.

    WRT Secret Service protection, I really don’t think it is a good idea to remove SS protection of a former POTUS who has been explicitly threatened with assassination from a foreign power. That kind of crosses a line, removing SS protection in the face of threats like that. Iran has explicitly made the threats. They have the means and capability. Recall in 2011 there was an incident involving Iran and KSA on our soil. Imagine for a moment, that SS protection is deliberately removed and a former POTUS Trump is assassinated. Leave aside the reaction of the rest of the world to an assassination of a former POTUS…What does something like that say about us?

    As I write, there are 10 days left in POTUS Trump’s tenure. Let passions cool.

    1. It’s not even that — imagine the implications if, denied USSS, he hires some trigger-happy private security (e.g. Blackwater) who kills a foreign national with diplomatic protection.

      That would be a very nasty international incident — could even get us into a war. (Don’t forget how WW-I started…)

      No, it’s not in the public interest to deny him USSS.

      1. That hypo only creates an international incident if the guilty parties aren’t prosecuted to the full extent of the law, as they should be.

        1. Your hypo only applies if the insulted foreign country is willing to wait years for the trial and appeals. As I recall, Austria-Hungary’s ultimatum was issued, accepted against all odds, and the acceptance rejected within 30 days.

          1. And then there is John Hinkley, who is now a free man.

            A lot of foreign countries would have a real problem with that. Or our exclusionary rule, or any of the other things intrepid defense attorneys can do in this country. Remember the OJ Trial?

            1. Plenty of cases where extradition has only been granted on the condition of no death penalty; or other restrictions.

      2. I don’t see him wanting to have to rely on the USSS, though. How long are the SS going to maintain their non-partisan professionalism under this administration? I certainly wouldn’t want to count on it lasting.

        Agreed, the financial part, while it would certainly be nice for somebody in MY income bracket, is chump change from Trump’s perspective.

        1. Anyone who thinks Trump is going to turn down the retirement benefits to be a good guy is deep into cult madness.

          1. He’s been donating his pay to charity since he took office, you do know that, right? Of course, that’s just public relations.

            I’m not saying he’d volunteer to not take the money, I’m saying he wouldn’t feel the hit from it being taken away.

            1. Actually, he’s been donating it to government agencies, of which i was in fact unaware.

              Nonetheless, I bet he’ll take the money, all of it.

              Oh, and the idea that Biden will somehow undermine Trump’s SS protection is deranged, paranoid.

              1. The fact remains that the USSS’s professionalism went into the toilet during the Obama Administration — possibly the boy president’s fault, possibly not — but it happened. Hookers in Columbia wasn’t all of it, but that alone was an international incident.

                I seem to remember Congress being rather concerned about the service…

              2. Yeah, just like we were paranoid last year saying that the social media platforms would be censoring Trump.

                Yes, he’s been donating it to government agencies. For example, in Q2 of 2017, the department of education got it, earmarked for a STEM camp for children.

                Rebuilding veteran’s cemeteries, fighting Coronavirus, real charitable donations. I assume there’s some legal reason he’s donating it to government programs.

                Or, hey, could be tax reasons for all I care. But it was all charity.

                1. Technically, he does deduct it from his taxes.

                  I mean, he would technically owe taxes on the entire $400,000. But he donates it all back to the government, so he deducts it from the taxes he owes.

                  Technically, I guess he “could” not deduct it from his taxes, and be in the odd situation of owing taxes on the money he donated to the government…

                2. just like we were paranoid last year saying that the social media platforms would be censoring Trump.

                  Trump can go on national TV ant time he wants.

                  They are blocking him because he broke the rules, not to mention he’s an utter and complete asshole who can’t open his mouth without lying.

                  Go bow down to your Trump statue. Isn’t it time for the evening service?

                  1. “They are blocking him because he broke the rules” LOL

                    Thou shalt not say things that we, the arbiters of truthiness, can twist using any manner of illogic into something more than vaguely “inciteful”. Don’t forget, we also get to choose the definition of words to mean whatever we need it to mean to further our agenda.

              3. Re: SS.

                I wouldn’t put it past the Democrats and Congress for them to hand Trump over to Iraq for criminal charges, based on how they feel about Trump. (Yes, Iraq has a criminal murder warrant out on Trump)

                1. If they did that then the federal government will need to be overthrown. It is already completely illegitimate.

              4. Biden was provably in on the plot to destroy Gen. Flynn in the waning days of the Obama administration. So don’t tell me this isn’t beneath him.

              5. Bernard,
                If what you say is true. Mr Biden would quietly squash the idea of impeaching DJT with 10 days left in the term of office

                1. Don,

                  I’m not sure what you are referring to.

    2. Trump’s safety would be imperiled more by his many underworld creditors than by anyone targeting him as a former President.

      1. I think you’ve got Trump confused with Harry Reid.

        1. Citation needed.

          1. Not really.

            1. You’re right.

              “If you don’t have faith, no explanation is possible. If you do, none is necessary.”

          2. It’s a joke, but if you’d been paying attention the last few years, you’d have gotten it.

    3. “Let passions cool.”

      A common refrain among identified, exposed, inferior, vulnerable, ignorant losers.

      Carry on, clingers . . . but only so far and so long as better people permit. You blew it, so that is your station.

      1. Artie. Cheaters have taken over the three branches of government. I will enjoy the Biden administration forcing you to house homeless, addicted Democrats in your spare bedrooms.

        1. These are your peeps, Prof. Volokh.

          If you think your fellow faculty members considered you a misfit before . . . they’re probably constructing an even more remote corner of the faculty meeting room for you and Prof. Bainbridge as I write this.

          1. Guilt by association is a rather fascist thing…

          2. Hi, Artie. Can you say something in lawyer? I can’t believe you had any legal training.

            1. He didn’t even graduate high school. He empties the trash and clean TP toilets for a wealthy conservative boss. Everything he does here is just him acting out because he’s a prog loser.

              Which is typical of his kind.

            2. He’s not a lawyer. His comments are always the same: personal insults. He’s an Alinsky disciple, incapable of independent, analytical thought. Firmly convinced of his superiority, unaware of his fear of being exposed as an imposter. Perfect regressive—talking points only.

              1. What inclines you to advanced such an unqualified, easily discredited assertion, you bigoted rube, while purporting to be a lawyer?

              2. Being a lawyer and being insane are not mutually exclusive.

                Heck, they are not even all that uncommon. Just go down to any courthouse on motion day.

  8. A rare case where Blackman seems to have made a cogent argument.

    Of course, this is just US Code, and it’s probably easier to get the votes to change it than to get the votes for conviction in the senate.

    1. It’s fewer votes in the Senate…

    2. Of course, this is just US Code, and it’s probably easier to get the votes to change it than to get the votes for conviction in the senate.

      Change it ex post facto? I guess since we’re in the process of flushing the rest of the Constitution, such a trifle shouldn’t bother us much.

  9. At this point I don’t think that anyone’s concern is the relatively small amount of money that Trump will cost when he is out. Denying him benefits would be just a small bonus FU to Trump.

    1. Oh I see Molly the idiot has made it over here.

    2. The question is what does Trump really need? He will need protection and I would not deny that to him. As for an office, for what? He watches TV and plays golf. Most likely his office would be in business of selling Trump merchandize. The Mara Lago gift shop can handle that. As for his Presidential library, I will personally build that and even mount it on a post in front of Mara Lago.

      1. It’s funny how your kind treats Trump like he’s unintelligent. Then you elect Biden, a man with an IQ of our 90 at best, even before his aneurysm surgeries and advancing age.

        Of course, progressives tend to be dullards who equate indoctrination with intellect. So I can see where someone like you could be so confused.

        1. He’s right though. Trump is (I guess) a real estate mogul.

          He’s got offices all over the place. He doesn’t need us to pay for one.

          And as was discussed somewhere else he’s already donating his presidential salary to charity, he’d probably do that with the pension as well.

          The only thing this comes down to is secret service protection, which I think we shouldn’t take away, and can he run in 2024, which I don’t care because he’s fucked up so badly there’s no way he gets elected ever again.

          You know what’s going to be hilarious. The discussions around the Trump Presidential Library. You know he’s gonna want it in NYC. It’s going to be a NIMBY frenzy.

        2. You need to stop for a minute and listen to both men. No one would list Biden as a great speaker but he knows his subject. Historian often remind us that the great words of the Declaration of Independence were written by a man known to be a poor public speaker and who avoided public speaking.

  10. Some of you guys are actually scaring me.
    Criminal prosecution for speech? WTF is wrong with you?

    1. It’s pretty much what I was predicting the next time the Democrats won the White house, Senate, and House at the same time.

      2016 scared them, it cured them of the idea that their victory was inevitable. That they will predictably win the argument if there’s free speech.

      Well, in Erogan’s words, the train is in the station, and now it’s time to get off, before it pulls out again. They have the upper hand, so now it’s “game over”. Free speech isn’t working out for them, so it’s time to end it.

      I hope they’re moving too soon. I fear that they aren’t.

      So, how long do you give it before the censorship starts here at Reason? Under a year, I’d guess. And it probably starts right here.

      1. The censorship at Reason started the day it welcomed The Volokh Conspiracy.

        At least, that’s the documented record in the reality-based world.

        1. Another idiotic statement from a subnormal. You really are a drooling idiot.

      2. Now do you see why I have said for years that we need a Pinochet type who will deal with these people harshly and swiftly?

    2. Impeachment is not criminal prosecution.

      1. No shit, Sherlock. I was speaking to the commenters above.

    3. When the speech amounts to inciting sedition, yes.

      Do you seriously think that “Let’s all get together and overthrow the U.S. government by taking over the Capitol” is protected by the First Amendment?

      1. But he did not say those words.
        True some of his followers interpreted what he did say in that way.

      2. Yes, those words are protected. This isn’t China..

      3. Do you seriously think that “Let’s all get together and overthrow the U.S. government by taking over the Capitol” is protected by the First Amendment?

        Would you like to try again, with actual spoken/written words inside the quotation marks? I’ll wait.

  11. I thought it was common knowledge that President Trump already donates his salary to charity. Apparently not common knowledge, but confirmed in the USA Today article today that is notably churlish in its criticism of his outside business activities. The pension he would receive is a small fraction of the salary that he currentlydonates, so this is nothing but virtue signalling by his enemies.
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/07/11/fact-check-donald-trump-donates-salary-but-he-still-makes-money/5410134002/

    1. “The pension he would receive is a small fraction of the salary that he currently donates”

      The current pension figure is $219,000. The current salary is $400,000.

      1. Which he would almost certainly donate to charity. Therefore it makes no difference to Trump whether or not he gets a pension. Way to miss the point, Art!!

        1. I’m sure it will go straight to the Trump Foundation. O, wait, that doesn’t exist anymore, because it wasn’t an actual charity…

          1. Are any of the Trumps permitted by law to be associated with a charity any more, or did they all sign consent decrees disqualifying them from grifting for life?

  12. Isn’t it widely understood that “impeach” is being used colloquially to refer to conviction here? The President has already been impeached but not convicted. If impeachment were sufficient, forfeiture of those benefits would already have happened.

  13. I’m feeling full Randy Marsh and Where my Country Gone?

    Trump is provocative – it’s his most dangerous skill. Worse, though, are the people who cannot resist biting that hook, giving him credit for things he cannot have done and denying any credit for good things he did do.

    I keep saying this, but I truly believe that the most dangerous thing about Trump is our response to him, which only we can control. This includes the dupes who stormed the capitol after being told for months that the election was a fraud AND the people desperate to remove him from office in the next week because he murdered people with Coronavirus.

    The truth is rarely simple, and there are almost always two sides. We have to ease up on each other. The internal divisions caused by our response to Trump (like the messes made by our response to COVID) are what will create lasting damage. A bully has no power save the power you give him.

    1. Great post. You are dead on about Trump. He’s a huckster, and part of his schtick is being provocative. Some (a lot) of people couldn’t resist. Trump didn’t change me because I ignored his bullshit – aggravating as it is – and watched what he did.

      He made a lot of people crazy though. Some pols on both sides. The chuckleheads who stormed the capital are gonna be in prison for a while.

      And the media. Oh my God the media. Somehow he induced them to destroy themselves. And now he’s gone in 2 weeks or less, and the media’s credibility is ruined indefinitely. And we’re all poorly served by that.

      Big tech is now starting to shit on their reputation over Trump.

      I can’t figure out how much to blame him and how much to blame the people who allowed themselves to be manipulated.

      1. What do you think would happen if you were to push him over the edge?

        1. Nothing, whatever that even means. He’s a bullshitter. A paper tiger.

        2. “Appease us and let us off the hook – lest we rampage again!”

      2. They were all going to do it, I’ve been watching them work themselves up to it for years. All Trump did was advance the schedule a little, and that’s all to the good, because maybe they went nuts before their grip was inescapable.

        Maybe.

    2. “…AND the people desperate to remove him from office in the next week because he murdered people with Coronavirus.”

      You cannot possible be misunderstanding the criticism of Trump on the Coronavirus response to actually think that is the argument. You make a pretty good point without that straw man.

    3. ” The truth is rarely simple, and there are almost always two sides. ”

      The election was not stolen. If you wish to appease deluded yahoos, you are entitled to that position — but not to the respect of reasoning, educated, accomplished, modern Americans.

      1. Artie,
        Most lawyers know the aphorism,
        “Every pancake no matter how thin, has two sides.”

        1. Artie “knows” 2 things. Volokh and all of the commenters are evil, white men. Everyone that he disagrees with is racist.

          He is incapable of any “thought” beyond that.

  14. When you start talking about whether Trump will lose his pension, you know you are in the weeds. The reality is that Trump is not going to be removed or convicted, ever, althought he deserves to be.

    Can we talk about something else?

    How about the vaccination efforts? They are an utter shambles. From anecdotal evidence,* you have unused vaccination capacity, and doses being thrown out at the end of the day. Because the clinics are afraid to be fined for giving it to someone who is not in the right “tier.” This is utter madness.

    Part of this is on Trump, who did a good job in getting the vaccine through regulatory approval, and an utterly lousy job at making any efforts at the logistics of vaccination.

    Part is on the governor and state authorities for creating cumbersome rules that simply slow down distribution and actual vaccination.

    This is utterly shameful. One would think there would be broad agreement that getting as many people vaccinated as quickly as possibe is a paramount goal.

    _______________________
    Two anecdotes. A couple we know, in their 40s, in LA decided to go to an inner-city clinic. They were told that at the end of the day, they give out leftovers to whoever shows up. They did and got the first shot. The clinic was found out, fined heavily, and now they cannot get their second shot. The state would rather excess vaccines be thrown in the garbage than someone not in the right tier be vaccinated. Is that not utter madness?

    The mother of the husband of that couple is widowed and lives alone in Brooklyn. Her children are well off, so they rented her an apartment in Florida for a month so she can get her two shots. She is in her mid-60s, and so would not qualify for the elderly tier in NY, but does in Florida.

    Again, this is insanity.

    1. That’s what happens when you put Democrats in power.

    2. That’s all New York?

      Down here in stupid redneck Texas it’s going relatively smoothly. Relatively. Last I looked Texas had distributed around 40% of its received vaccine, which is pretty high up the ranking of states.

      The rules have been simple. Tier 1a was healthcare workers and nursing homes. Tier 1b is elderly 65+ and those over 16 with specific underlying conditions. Focusing on risk first and ignoring political crap

      I qualify under 1b, so I messaged my primary doc and asked if I was supposed to get it thru him. A couple of days later his nurse was on the phone offering an appointment. I had dose 1 within a week and my appointment for dose 2 had already been set up before I arrived for dose 1. Easy peasy.

      You’re right though. Anything that results in wasting this stuff needs to be fixed.

      1. Texas has covered CDC 1C. Pennsylvania is struggling with 1A.

    3. “and an utterly lousy job at making any efforts at the logistics of vaccination.”

      This is what’s known as “federalism”; He sends it to the states, some of them put it in arms, others put it in warehouses to rot.

      1. Not a very good argument for federalism.

        1. No, it’s a good argument for federalism when voting rights are limited to people who won’t put Democraps in power.

          Limit voting to men with IQs over 100 and watch all of these problems disappear.

          1. I have advocated more than once here that voting should be limited to peeps who can correctly solve three partial differential equations at the time they show up to vote in person.

      2. No, it is what is know as rank incompetence. The federal government is perfectly capable of mobilizing a national vaccination effort, and given the effect of COVID19 on the national economy, it would be well within its Constitutional powers to do so. It would only take a few billion dollars, which is a drop in the bucket of the two stimulus packages.

        That’s the thing about hucksters like Trump. They talk a good game, but when it comes to follow through, they are failures. Not that this gets the governors and state authorities off, but he did nothing to make sure that vaccination would be taken care of. He was too busy inventing fantasies about the “stolen” election.

        1. Don’t you think it kinda shows the incompetence of government? Why do you want more government? If Walmart or Amazon was doing the distribution, every single drop would get used.

        2. BL,
          What are you talking about with “The federal government is perfectly capable of mobilizing a national vaccination effort, and given the effect of COVID19 on the national economy?”
          Mr Biden has sent this big goal for his first 100 days as 100 million vaccinations, even tough he followed that with the statement that it would take 2 years to vaccinate Americans.
          What is need is 3 to 5 million vaccinations per day. That is far from easy and at least Mr Biden knows that

        3. How did Obongo’s ACA website rollout go?

  15. Leader of an insurrection….

    What a joke. The Capitol take over was nothing more than good old fashion civil disobedience. Try to convince me anyone there was actually interested in overthrowing the government or any of their actions even had the intention of doing so?

    It was a sit in by cos play actors. That is all.

    1. It was a college-style “building takeover” likely perpetrated by people who watched fellow students do it with impunity a decade ago.

      The other thing — remember the SCOTUS rulings about all-White juries? Wouldn’t that apply to all-Black juries as well? And then there’s the Due Process issues — if you’re from Oklahoma, and you walk through an open door into a building, how are you supposed to know that is a crime? So there was a crush of people — ever been on any big-city subway during rush hour or gone to a sports arena?

      I’m not so sure these convictions are slam-dunks…

    2. Why would anyone try to convince you of anything? You have internet. Educate yourself.

      1. Other than the very front of the crowd, prove any of them KNEW they weren’t allowed in the PUBLIC building? “I swear, officer, I was under the impression they were letting us in the building for a sit-in, just like Code Pink. How could I have known the front of the crowd broke in”? That’s what they’ll need to say.

        Checkmate bitches. Not enough evidence. Sound familiar? 😉

        1. This is precisely the level of legal insight we have come to expect from the Volokh Conspiracy — and that increasingly includes the faculty contributions as well as the comments.

          1. Thanks for your insight Artie. Vapid as always.

  16. How about the guy who crushed the cop’s skull with the fire extinguisher? Or whoever brought the pipe bombs and Molotov cocktails?Harmless cosplay?

    Boys will be boys.

    1. You’ve never worked security at a large event, have you?

      Perps will be perps — it’s why we have cops…

    2. We were told all summer long that the violent element of those protests were “co-opting” the movement and it should not be reflective of the larger “mostly peaceful protests”. Funny how that is not a universal rule…

  17. All this ramped up hatred is pretty funny. You can tell that Trump supporters REALLY RUFFLED SOME FEATHERS!

    But the arrogant aristocracy will double down and basically encourage more of that behavior, and I’ll be sitting here LMAO! Go ahead, try to take away Trump’s pension and freaking office space, how petty you bitches can be, lol.

    1. Yes, barnstorming the Capitol for the first time in 200 years will definitely, euh, ruffle some feathers. Funny that.

  18. Barack Obama usurped the Presidency by fraud and is violating the Former President Act. Obama is NOT an Article II “Natural Born Citizen”. Biden and Pelosi were Complicit. Kamala Harris is also NOT a Natural Born Citizen. See my book “Imposters in the Oval Office” -iUniverse Publishing (c)2018.

  19. Speaking of consequences for anti-American conduct . . . right-wing professors, right-wing police officers, right-wing corporate executives, right-wing elected officials, and right-wingers of all stripes who participated in the insurrection are being exposed, fired, criminally charged, and arrested.

    Law enforcement authorities are using social media posts, surveillance images, cellphone location records, witnesses, license plate reader information, and other evidence to identify the persons who stormed our Capitol.

    When will the Volokh Conspiracy complain on behalf of these poor conservatives who are being held to account?

    1. Other than a few dozen worst offenders, you won’t convict shit. They’ll arrest a ton of them, won’t get convictions.

      1. While this is true there are already accounts of peeps who were at the incident being fired from jobs or suffering other punishment.

        1. No free swings, clingers.

          As better people follow track to identify the insurrectionists, clingers will lose jobs, faculty appointments, elected offices, homes, school admissions, Republican Party positions, etc.

          I expect a Volokh Conspirator or two, and this blog’s downscale followers, to whine and whimper about ‘cancel culture’ and ‘freedom of expression’ and ‘freedom of association.’ Mostly because they operate from the perspective of the marauding bigots, and ignore the rights of people who prefer not to be associated with right-wing losers.

          I will be content.

          And Artie Ray will be smiling.

          1. What a foul, ill-willed spirit you are.

          2. Yes, they were new to this sort of thing, but they’ll quickly learn by studying the wise ways of leftist agitators. Those people been at this since the 60s, so those MAGA rubes have much to learn from them.

            When you see those righties dressing in identical clothes and covering their faces, that’s when things will get really crazy.

      2. Given all the evidence is on video, they will all plea out before trial. But I doubt prosecutors will just drop charges.

        1. A lifetime subscription to the no-fly list sounds appropriate for many of them, for starters.

          1. Not worth pretending that you’re not a totalitarian anymore, now that the revolution has begun?

  20. It still amazes me that some peeps are laboring under the delusion that Trump is subject to any criminal liability and will go to jail. I do realize there are some state tax (and maybe fraud) charges being investigated but going to jail for tax issues is almost impossible since the first option is simply to pay the taxes and interest. Those tax guys want money and realize they don’t get paid if they put peeps in jail. I am too lazy to look up the details but when Trump was involved with Trump University and got charged with some flavor of fraud the best I can remember he paid a cool twenty five million and went about his merry way.

    Just as a reminder crimes are well defined in statutes. As an example both state and federal laws define what is necessary to be charged with murder (one of the silliest charged the dems keep leveling at Trump). Problem is that none of the dems are able to name the statute Trump could be charged with. Kilda like when treason charges are thrown around and quickly shot down since it is defined in the US Constitution and in some state laws.

    Bottom line is none of the dems seem to be able to name the statute Trump could be charged with; or when they do even a 1YL is able to produce a more than adequate defense.

    1. Bank fraud, insurance fraud, wire fraud, tax evasion. The investigations are already underway.

      Corruption associated with pardons, commutations, government favors, and the like.

      Conduct associated with the insurrection.

      Indicted persons (Bannon, for example) turning on each other. Persons granted pardons or immunity (Weisselberg, for example — and Weisselberg’s children, and their former spouses) compelled to testify (or be incarcerated).

      I plan to enjoy watching the post-immunity legal adventures of Donald, Ivanka, Donald Jr., and Eric Trump develop.

      1. Also, election fraud.

    2. As I have predicted here repeatedly, he will be prosecuted by NY State for tax and other financial crimes.

      And possibly by Georgia for his call to the Secty of State and attempt to subvert the electio there.

      Which puts Biden and his AG in a sweet position. Hands off Trump, let the state AGs do their work.

      1. I expect that the NY AG will go forward with charges, unless he is told not to by Mr Cuomo, whose arm can easily be twisted by Mr Biden. It is Ole Joe’s show now; people should respect his judgement.

        1. It is Ole Joe’s show now; people should respect his judgement.
          LOL

        2. “It is Ole Joe’s show now; people should respect his judgement.”

          We all know you’re not serious.

          1. Actually I am very serious and Biden’s fellow D politicians should be also.

            1. Actually I am very serious and Biden’s fellow D politicians should be also or they will end up at the re-education camp.

              FTFY

  21. Note that you’re looking to a session law underneath a positively enacted Title for the definition that excludes removed Presidents — from a quick look, it seems that anything positively granted by the Title (e.g., secret service protection, as T18 has also been enacted) might not be restricted by the definition in the underlying session law. Quick look, likely wrong.

    Mr. D.

    1. Maybe I misunderstand your point, but Title 3 doesn’t use the term “former President”. It is defined and used in the Former Presidents Act which is uncodified, though the Office of the Law Revision Counsel conveniently references it in the notes for 3 U.S.C. §102.

      1. Yes, that was the meaning — since you have to look to the session law underneath Title 3 for the limitation, it wouldn’t apply to the provision in (enacted) Title 18.

        Session law comp:
        https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/COMPS-11552/pdf/COMPS-11552.pdf

        Mr. D.

        1. I see but note that Blackman didn’t attempt to apply that limitation to Title 18, in fact he acknowledged that 18 U.S.C. §3056 “is not limited to non-removed Presidents”.

  22. Seeing Democrats wrapping themselves in the flag after spending all summer denying America was ever great is HILARIOUS.. Take Obama out on the road // have Bill Clinton open espousing the joys of monogamy!

    1. Especially after both saying violence was justified and crapping all over this country because it was supposedly founded on white racism and slavery.

  23. But, GAO observed that in “In 1994, the law was amended to rescind lifetime protection for former presidents and their spouses if the president’s term of office began after January 1, 1997.”

    GAO made that observation in 2001, but in 2013 18 USC §3056 was amended again to reinstate lifetime protection.

  24. There appears to be no end to the means with which to demolish this President. All good precedent for future Presidents, I am sure all will agree.

  25. Why does Blackman backtrack in the last update? His argument is that the text of the Former President’s Act provides the benefits because Trump will not have been removed. Then cites 18 USC 3056 which arguably does not restrict benefits even to removed presidents. Then he points to a CNN piece that only analyzes “removed” presidents. It doesn’t challenge his initial conclusion that non-removed presidents keep the benefits. But still he throws his hands up and proclaims it unclear. It is far from unclear based on the plain language of the relevant statutes.

    1. I see you have now learned Prof. Blackman’s m.o.

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