Despite all efforts by the left to tarnish President Trump’s legacy and cut his term short, a former federal judge insists that the Senate has no constitutional authority to impeach him once he leaves office and becomes a private citizen.
In the wake of the Capitol riot, the House is expected to approve at least one article of impeachment, however an impeachment trial in the upper chamber of Congress would not begin until after Inauguration Day, if ever.
Given that President Trump’s presidency is coming to an end in just one week, ex-U.S. Court of Appeals Judge J. Michael Luttig – who also worked in the Reagan and G.W. Bush administrations – says that this just might be a game of politics.
“Once Trump’s term ends on January 20, Congress loses its constitutional authority to continue impeachment proceedings against him – even if the House has already approved articles of impeachment,” Luttig wrote.
“Therefore, if the House of Representatives were to impeach the president before he leaves office, the Senate could not thereafter convict the former president and disqualify him under the Constitution from future public office,” he added.
“The reason for this is found in the Constitution itself. Trump would no longer be an incumbent in the office of the President at the time of the delayed Senate proceeding, and would no longer be subject to ‘impeachment conviction’ by the Senate, under the Constitution’s Impeachment Clauses. Which is to say that the Senate’s only power under the Constitution is to convict – or not – an incumbent president,” he said, citing Article 1, Section 3, and Article II, Section 4.
If Trump were to be convicted in the Senate, he would be disqualified from running in 2024, according to BizPacReview.
Perhaps this was their goal all along: impeach Trump so he can’t run again.
If the dispute over the Senate’s impeachment abilities wound up in court, “it is highly unlikely the Supreme Court would yield to Congress’s view that it has the power to impeach a president who is no longer in office when the Constitution itself is so clear that it does not,” Luttig concluded.
Luttig is not the only one using common sense to interpret the Constitution.
Harvard Law professor and Democrat Alan Dershowitz reiterated that the Senate lacks any legal authority to move forward, BizPacReview reports.
“But the case cannot come for trial in the Senate because the Senate has rules, and the rules would not allow the case to come to trial until – according to the majority leader – until 1 p.m. on Jan. 20, an hour after President Trump leaves office,” he said during an interview on Sunday Morning Futures.
“And the Constitution specifically says, ‘The President shall be removed from office upon impeachment.’ It doesn’t say the former president,” he urged.
“Congress has no power to impeach or try a private citizen, whether it be a private citizen named Donald Trump or named Barack Obama, or anyone else. The jurisdiction is limited to a sitting president, and so there won’t be a trial.”