Former President Donald Trump responded to the Democrats’ impeachment 2.0 efforts today, making the case that it’s an unconstitutional impeachment now that he’s no longer in office.
As the Daily Wire reported, Trump said through his lawyers that “The Senate of the United States lacks jurisdiction over the 45th President because he holds no public office from which he can be removed, and the Constitution limits the authority of the Senate in cases of impeachment to removal from office as the prerequisite active remedy allowed the Senate under our Constitution.”
Their full 14-page response can be read *here.*
In the response, Trump’s lawyers acknowledge the actions of rioters, but deny that Trump incited the violence himself. Indeed, many of those accusing Trump of inciting a riot on January 6th contradict their case by simultaneously arguing that it was planned weeks in advance on platforms like Parler. There’s no evidence for that claim, but it’s a narrative the left is simultaneously pushing that would make it impossible for Trump to have directly incited violence on January 6th.
Never before has a senate trial for an impeached president been held after they left office, and J. Michael Luttig, a former judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, made the case that doing so would be unconstitutional last month.
Luttig says that Article II Section 4 of the Constitution confirms the view that the purpose of impeachment is to remove from office a president before he can cause further harm. That article and section reads “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.”
Furthermore, Article I Section 3 reads “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.”
On the other hand, it’s not like Democrats have let the constitution get in their way before.
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