The Case Against Retroactive Impeachment Trials: A Response To The Open Letter Of Scholars

This week, a group of scholars wrote an open letter endorsing the constitutional basis for trying former President Donald Trump in a retroactive impeachment trial. The letter contains many individuals who I know and respect. I encourage you to read their case for such retroactive impeachment. As I have said in every column and posting on this subject, this is a close question upon which people of good-faith can disagree.  However, I would like to respond to the letter and offer a countervailing view.

At the outset, it is important to note there is precedent for such a trial.  That was the case of William Belknap, which I will address shortly. It is also true that such cases occurred in England, as we have discussed in relation to the case of Warren Hastings.  These cases show that impeachment was viewed as having a purpose other than removal. That is obvious from the fact that they were already out of office. Over twenty years ago, I wrote a law review article explaining how these cases reflect a desire to pass judgment on wrongdoing as well as to secure future disqualification. See Jonathan Turley, Senate Trials and Factional Disputes: Impeachment as a Madisonian Device, 49 Duke Law Journal 1-146 (1999). I stated that such trials play an important dialogic role even on a retroactive basis. I still believe that. There is a legitimate desire of many to condemn the actions of President Trump. I joined many in that condemnation. Indeed, I criticized his speech while it was being given, opposed the challenge to the electoral votes, and objected to the President’s false statements concerning the authority of Vice President Michael Pence.

However, there remain two important threshold questions for the Senate. First, whether a retroactive impeachment is a legitimate constitutional function. Second, whether a retroactive impeachment is a sound constitutional practice.  The letter addresses both questions. While I still hold the same views on the history and value of these trials, I now have reservations on both questions. I view the balance of the benefits and the countervailing costs of such trials differently. I am not alone in that view among academics and other experts, including recently former federal judge Michael Luttig.

THE CONSTITUTIONAL TEXT

Article I states that the power of impeachment and trial are shared by the two houses but limits the power of Congress by expressly stating that “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.”

Article II contains the key impeachment provision and standard, stating “The PresidentVice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, TreasonBribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

For my part, I am admittedly fixated on the fact that impeachment refers to the removal of “the President” and other officials in office. I understand that many do not adhere to a strong textualist approach to the Constitution. However, there is a glaring anomaly in the text. Indeed, the primary stated purpose of the trial is to determine whether “the President . . .  shall be removed.” At the second Trump impeachment trial, the president will be Joe Biden, not Donald Trump. So the Senate will hold a rather curious vote to decide whether to remove a president who has already gone. Moreover, Chief Justice John Roberts is not expected to be present to answer these questions because there is no president to try. Article I states “When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside.”  So the Senate will get someone else.  The question is who is being tried. Is he a president? Obviously not. Is he a civil officer? No, he is a private citizen. A private citizen is being called to the Senate to be tried for removal from an office that he does not hold.

Every other part of the Constitution using the term “the President” or such specific officeholders is a reference to the current officeholder, not anyone who has ever held that office. Otherwise, Donald Trump could still be issuing pardons.

The letter states the obvious countervailing argument that emphasizes the allowance for a future penalty in the form of disqualification from office:

“In other words, the Constitution’s impeachment power has two aspects. The first is removal from office, which occurs automatically upon the conviction of a current officer. The second is disqualification from holding future office, which occurs in those cases where the Senate deems disqualification appropriate in light of the conduct for which the impeached person was convicted. The impeachment power must be read so as to give full effect to both aspects of this power.

Impeachment is the exclusive constitutional means for removing a president (or other officer) before his or her term expires. But nothing in the provision authorizing impeachment-for-removal limits impeachment to situations where it accomplishes removal from office. Indeed, such a reading would thwart and potentially nullify a vital aspect of the impeachment power: the power of the Senate to impose disqualification from future office as a penalty for conviction. In order to give full effect to both Article I’s and Article II’s language with respect to impeachment, therefore, the correct conclusion is that former officers remain subject to the impeachment power after leaving office, for purposes of permitting imposition of the punishment of disqualification.”

I made a similar point in 1999 in discussing the Belknap case. However, as a matter of constitutional interpretation, I am not so confident that a reasonable interpretation must treat removal and disqualification as distinct and equal “aspects.” Removal is stated as the question for the Senate to answer in the trial of “the President.” The Senate may, in its discretion, add disqualification after a president has been removed.  The second optional penalty language was expressed as a limitation on the authority of the Senate and again references removal: “shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification.” Since the Senate does not have to disqualify, it would not seem to be an interchangeable or equal consideration in that respect. Moreover, it is obvious that the Senate could not simply hold disqualification trials under this language. Its authority to disqualify is not triggered until after “the President” has been removed from office.

To support the broader interpretation, the letter states that:

“If an official could only be disqualified while he or she still held office, then an official who betrayed the public trust and was impeached could avoid accountability simply by resigning one minute before the Senate’s final conviction vote. The Framers did not design the Constitution’s checks and balances to be so easily undermined.”

Again, it is an argument that I raised in 1999. An official could clearly evade such punishment with a resignation.  Richard Nixon avoided impeachment itself with a well-timed resignation. These scholars are arguing that Nixon could still have been impeached and removed after he left office. Indeed, there is no time limit to such retroactive trials which could come years later as easily as it could come weeks later.  It is also true that the Framers did not design impeachment to be so easily manipulated by shifting political balances.  They expressly wanted to make it difficult and rarely used.  What they did not discuss was a lifetime eligibility for impeachment trial for anyone who serves in federal office. That is a notable omission at a time when political opponents were already trying to destroy each other. There was mention of the Hastings trial but the Framers rejected a number of English practices. If impeachment applied to private citizens, one would have expected a substantive discussion given the anti-federalist mistrust of the Constitution and the rising hostility between the Federalists and the Jeffersonians. The greater danger in my view is not evasion by office holders but opportunism by Congress. A new Congress with a new majority can seek retroactive impeachments and disqualifications for figures in an opposing party.

Nevertheless, again, there is a fair debate on an unresolved issue of constitutional interpretation. Over the decades, I have militated toward more textual reliance on such questions but there is text on both sides to sustain this debate.

THE CONSTITUTIONAL PRACTICE

The letter supports its constitutional interpretation by noting that “[h]istory supports a reading of the Constitution that allows Congress to impeach, try, convict, and disqualify former officers.” Again, we are in agreement but only to a point. There are only two American retroactive cases before the Senate. Only one truly resulted in a trial. However, that is not particularly strong precedent for the constitutional interpretation (as opposed to the value of such trials discussed earlier). In the case of William Blount, the Senate rejected the case.  Blount did not even show up because he contested the very basis for an impeachment trial of a private citizen. While this was a case involving a former legislative not executive official, the Senate refused to hold a trial.  Notably, that rejection occurred when most signers of the Constitution were still alive. Indeed, Blount was one of those signers. Others Framers expressly like Justice Joseph Story also questioned the concept of retroactive trials. Story wrote “If then there must be a judgment of removal from office, it would seem to follow that the Constitution contemplated that the party was still in office at the time of the impeachment. If he was not, his offense was still liable to be tried and punished in the ordinary tribunals of justice.”

The second case is William Belknap. I will not repeat those facts here. However, this issue was again raised and senators argued that it was entirely inappropriate to try the former Secretary of War.  Almost half of the Senate voted to dismiss the case on a threshold vote. Belknap was then acquitted.  That certainly shows that a majority viewed impeachment as extending beyond removal for the purposes of a trial. It also shows considerable opposition to that proposition.  We have one contested case that resulted in an acquittal.

There were also English cases like Warren Hastings, but that case also resulted in acquittal and the eventual punishment of the main proponent of impeachment. The case was viewed as abusive and intemperate. The case did show again a desire for a ruling on the underlying wrongdoing and shows how such trials can have such an important dialogic role. I still view the cases as showing how impeachment trials can have meaning beyond the sole value of removal. That is also why I stated in the Clinton and Trump impeachment (and recently in the second Trump impeachment) that I believe the House should impeach a president up to the last day in office if it believes that he committed a high crime and misdemeanor. I believe the Senate can remove a president up to the last day for the same reason. I would still reject a snap impeachment but if they have hold a sufficient hearing and create a record for the Senate, the value of such impeachments go to the condemnation of conduct. These trials play an important role in renouncing abusive or corrupt practices. Moreover, I do not view a second Trump trial as being solely about the desire to disqualify him from future offices. There is a legitimate desire to speak as an institution against the conduct leading up to the Capitol riot.

The problem from my perspective remains the balancing of such values against the countervailing costs. The Trump impeachment only magnified those concerns.  For the first time in history, the House used what I have called a “snap impeachment” without the traditional hearing or formal opportunity for a president to respond. The House could have waited a couple days to allow such a hearing to occur. Instead, it used a snap impeachment and then sat on the article of impeachment for many days — similar to what it did in the first Trump impeachment. The Senate would then hold a retroactive trial for someone who is now a private citizen.

Under this approach, any new Congress could come into power and set about disqualifying opponents from public office despite their being private citizens. A Republican Congress could have retroactively impeached Barack Obama or retried Bill Clinton. They could insist that there is no escaping impeachment by merely leaving office.  That is why, even if the Senate does not view this as extraconstitutional, it should view this trial as constitutionally unsound.

356 thoughts on “The Case Against Retroactive Impeachment Trials: A Response To The Open Letter Of Scholars”

  1. An impeachment is being used as a political move as an Impeachment trial is not administered as a trial by rules of law. Rules of evidence? Jury of peers? Prosecutorial malpractice? We need to reevaluate the motives.

  2. The Concise Oxford Dictionary (Clarendon Press (1990)) defines impeach as 1. Brit– charge with a crime against the State, esp.treason. 2.US — charge (the holder of a public office) with misconduct. Is this reminiscent of John Wycliffe whose bones exhumed, burned and the ashes cast into the river as punishment for heresy?

  3. QAC Commissioner Robert Buckey. please help me to understand something about Nancy Pelosi, she publicly made the statement that she withheld the vote for the corona 19 because it would help Donald trump in his re-election, why would this not be considered a high crime, this decision alone hurt tens of thousands of Americans ONLY, so why not impeach or removed Nancy Pelosi……

  4. Both impeachments were purely political acts of extreme vindictiveness and no evidence. If the people want to re-elect Trump, that is their choice, the corrupt members of Congress have no business dictating to us.

    1. Has anyone examined to ballots underneath the table in ga
      That must be explained in detail so we can understand what happened
      I will not have confidence in any election until then

  5. Trump Plotted Coup At Justice Department Before Siege On Capitol

    The Justice Department’s top leaders listened in stunned silence this month: One of their peers, they were told, had devised a plan with President Donald J. Trump to oust Jeffrey A. Rosen as acting attorney general and wield the department’s power to force Georgia state lawmakers to overturn its presidential election results.

    The unassuming lawyer who worked on the plan, Jeffrey Clark, had been devising ways to cast doubt on the election results and to bolster Mr. Trump’s continuing legal battles and the pressure on Georgia politicians. Because Mr. Rosen had refused the president’s entreaties to carry out those plans, Mr. Trump was about to decide whether to fire Mr. Rosen and replace him with Mr. Clark.

    The department officials, convened on a conference call, then asked each other: What will you do if Mr. Rosen is dismissed?

    The answer was unanimous. They would resign.

    Their informal pact ultimately helped persuade Mr. Trump to keep Mr. Rosen in place, calculating that a furor over mass resignations at the top of the Justice Department would eclipse any attention on his baseless accusations of voter fraud. Mr. Trump’s decision came only after Mr. Rosen and Mr. Clark made their competing cases to him in a bizarre White House meeting that two officials compared with an episode of Mr. Trump’s reality show “The Apprentice,” albeit one that could prompt a constitutional crisis.

    Edited From “Trump And Justice Department Lawyer Said To Have Plotted To Oust Acting Attorney General”

    The New York Times, 1/22/21

    1. So, the NYT which reported not one negative story on Biden, is suddenly a source of unbiased information on Trump?

    2. Perhaps….we might analyze possible facts in that NYT story….two Lawyers with opposing views meet with the President to discuss a course of action.

      Each presents their case….and the President makes a decision and does what is. right and the wiser.

      That assumes there was a meeting as claimed to begin with….and skips over this whole conference call thing which should only have occurred after the fact else participants once discovered….in a non-partisan DOJ would have been fired for cause had there been time to deal with that by the Attorney General.

      Once again….yet another NYT hit piece demonstrating its biased reporting

      The DOJ is a nest of snakes who have forgotten what they are there to do….fairly and judiciously enforce the Laws of the United States without bias or favor to any one.

      There needs to be an old fashioned snake killing and cleanse the DOJ of those who have violated the trust placed in them.

      1. NB, on the state and local level, prisons, jails, police patrols, plainclothes investigation, and enforcement of court orders are not mashed together in one department with prosecutors and solicitors. The patrol and investigation function and the custodial function are commonly in separate departments as well. Representation of the government in court is commonly split between agencies who handle criminal matters and agencies who handle civil matters and / or agencies who represent the government as plaintiff and agencies who do so as defendant. Why not break the DoJ into pieces and sort it’s function between about 6 successor departments and do the same to Homeland Security. (One department to handle civil defense and the Coast Guard; one to handle security on federal property, government cybersecurity, and dignitary protection; one to handle investigation of federal crimes; one to handle custody; one to handle miscellaneous policing and security; and one to represent the federal government as plaintiff in civil and criminal matters (which would be a passive recipient of investigators’ dossiers and would not direct investigations)?

        1. Art Deco – DHS was invented a mere 18 years ago as the overarching super-agency intended to facilitate information sharing and resources amongst all of the various “homeland security” agencies. There’s not a chance in hell this Congress, nor any future Congress, would split up the Justice Department. Each time an agency is created, it gains political power and traction, and becomes impossible to dispose of. There is literally ZERO chance of any significant Federal institution getting smaller or more “modular”. Like the 2nd law of thermodynamics, there is only one path forward, and that is towards entropy – rot, corruption, and chaos within the government – until it ceases to function entirely and the people dispose of it entirely. It’s a bleak outlook, and the Turley’s of the world can prattle on for their entire lives about this or that, but it’s fact. The capitol riots demonstrated the anger citizens feel towards the federal establishment, and those who attempt to reduce those citizens motives down to one fiery Trump speech, or even to Trump himself, are as blind, deaf, and dumb as those who predicted Trump could not possibly become President in the first place.

  6. A Question for the Readers…..If the Senate holds a trial of DJT, now a Private Citizen known as the Ex-President, and convicts him….that verdict removes him from an Office he does not hold, and then in a separate vote must decide to ban him from being able to hold any other office or run again for President. I see that as being two distinctly independent decisions per the Constitution. The Senate cannot try a Private Citizen. The Senate cannot remove a Private Citizen from the Presidency as he is not the President. (Sorry for the Congressional Hearing question mode….hang on!). Now in this mystical farce of a Senate Trial of a. non-President…..and if the Chief Justice does not have to preside…..who does preside over the Senate Trial….the majority leader…..who will then also get to vote on the guilt of the accused….a Private Citizen? In a Trial….conducted by a legitimate Court….the Defendant is entitled to Due Process. Other than Judge Sullivan of late….where in the US Department of Justice does the Judge rule over the proceeding and also vote as. part of the Jury?

    Folks….the harder you have to argue to deny you have a problem…..the bigger your problem really is….and in this Snap Impeachment of a President who is no longer in Office….the Democrats in their hatred of Donald Trump have created a huge problem for themselves by trumping up the charge being levied against Trump and more importantly in how they are trying to keep him from running in 2024 which is all this is about.

    1. The UNIPARTY does not care about the text of the constitution, or precedent. They will do as they please. At this point, I actually hope they go through with it, because it will only serve to further redpill the populace as to the corruption and illegitimacy of our farcical “representatives” in Congress. Barring Trump from future office – which I highly doubt he would want to do again anyway given the 4 years of hell he just endured; he has served us enough – will not remove his voice, or his organizational and fundraising abilities. Anywhere Trump speaks, millions are going to listen.

  7. Another “scholar” apparently so deep in his book learning that he fails to see the evidence of fraud put forth in abundance. Forest, meet trees.
    So sad.

  8. Jonathan Turley put the counter-argument best (in 1999):

    “Impeachment, as demonstrated by Edmund Burke, serves a public value in addressing conduct at odds with core values in a society. At a time of lost confidence in the integrity of the government, the conduct of a former official can demand a political response. This response in the form of impeachment may be more important than a legal response in the form of a prosecution. “

    Wise words that strongly support the necessity of impeaching former public officials accused from wrongdoing!

    1. “At a time of lost confidence in the integrity of the government, the conduct of a former official can demand a political response.”

      And your response to a criminal congress (last 50 years) that remain in power to this day.

      The fact that Trump has been unrelentingly attacked since he first announced his run. Now private companies are attempting to destroy every ounce of his family. Is this what America has become?

    2. Turley’s 1999 ghost:

      ““Impeachment, as demonstrated by Edmund Burke, serves a public value in addressing conduct at odds with core values in a society. At a time of lost confidence in the integrity of the government, the conduct of a former official can demand a political response. This response in the form of impeachment may be more important than a legal response in the form of a prosecution. “

      Wise words that strongly support the necessity of impeaching former public officials accused from wrongdoing!”
      **************************

      Hey Ghosty, then, conversely, an acquittal by the Senate (as is almost sure to happen) will vindicate Trump and affirm his conduct. Wise words, indeed.

  9. Just heard Sen. Rand Paul say that Chief Justice Roberts will not preside over this unconstitutional impeachment.

    1. In the days of the Framers, honor was something worth dying and killing for. When an officeholder swore an oath to uphold the Constitution, he pledged his sacred honor to do so. What is an Impeachment after all? Is it simply a process to remove a President? I don’t believe so. Impeachment is implicitly impeaching a President’s character as a man of honor. A conviction means that the Senators believe that the President violated his oath of office thereby necessitating his removal. And because his honor was impugned, it stood to reason that he perhaps should never hold office again and thus be disqualified in the future. These actions are not partisan. They were affairs of honor which were taken deadly seriously then.

      If we understand Impeachment so, then simply resigning from office prior to Impeachment and/or conviction ought not to shield the President from such accountability. Once an Impeachment inquiry has been made in the House, neither resignation nor the expiration of the President’s term should cease it. For removal from office is not the object of Impeachment; rather, it is a merely a byproduct in the event that the President has not left by the time of the verdict. The real penalty is the disgrace of being found guilty of a high crime and misdemeanor thereby sullying one’s family name and honor- to become a social pariah. And it is for this reason it may be appropriate for men of honor to do the honorable task of disqualifying the disgraced man from ever again holding an office of honor.

      Turley’s fear that a majority party could impeach and then disqualify any former official from running for office for purely partisan reasons is overblown. It seems to me that an Impeachment inquiry must be opened while the President is still in office or very soon thereafter if he has pre-emptively resigned. If a party waits to impeach a former official long after he has departed from office, it would be rather transparent that the motivation was partisan.

      1. Your comment is a joke sir, the reason for impeachment is evident, we have a deep state who think they speak for what the peoples best interest is, but in fact they are all crooks, a den of thieves, who gainsay at our detriment, meanwhile President Trump lost money being our only hope against a beat gone wild. Our Gov. leaders are not only crooks, they are loons. They actually think we the people can’t see through their propagandist votes, that we can’t actually understand how they stole the election. IMHO, everyone up there, save a very few, if they had to face our framers, would be hung for treason to this nation.

        Hillary sold us out to the highest bidder, Obama went in worth 3 million, came out worth 100 million, Warner from Va. who has never had a job in his life is worth over 100 million, Pelosi is worth 250 mil. the Clintons are worth 300 million. And we wonder why we have been sold out to China. And y seem to think Trump did something wrong, which of course is a joke, he came against the den of thieves grave train, the turned their propagandist media against him, lied for 4 years, and he got the will of the peoples vote of 75 million votes, more than any president ever, more than any candidate ever, except the racist Biden who won in spite not campaigning, because he already knew the fix was in, he even let it sip, we have the greatest voter fraud campaign ever assembled. Are you proud that we are now a quasi 3rd world dictatorship Gov. where the will of the people is overridden by their betters ? Its sad that we have so many uneducated, ignorant people in this nation, and by uneducated, I mean they were educated via the Socialist Agenda in our Universities which are now nothing but Commie Red reeducation camps. Where you gave no debate, you have no education. I could destroy every Socialist professors argument, as could most anyone, but they have none to challenge their propaganda because that is the commie way.

      2. In the days of the Framers, honor was something worth dying and killing for. When an officeholder swore an oath to uphold the Constitution, he pledged his sacred honor to do so.

        Well, you just installed the senescent husk of Hunter Biden’s ‘Big Guy’. Enjoy.

      3. And yet, given that option, they will do it anyway.
        You cannot expect that just because a motivation is transparently partisan, that it will stop them from doing it.

      4. Have you found appealing on emotions to be an effective legal strategy to overcome otherwise plain language? Below is the article’s plain and unambiguous language.

        Article II, 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.

        So, The President..

        Not the person, or the individual, that held the office of President within X days, weeks, months, years of no longer being president…

        shall be removed from office on impeachment…

        Not, and if no longer in office, they shall still be impeached to make sure they are so dishonored. they will never hold office again.

        The Senate does not have standing. Ironically, 18 states filed suit to challenge the election results on behalf of President Trump. And although 4 states were alleged to have violated their own election laws, the court dismissed the case on standing.

        Are you sure you want to open up Pandora’s Box and permit cases to move forward on feelings and emotions, instead of the letter of the law?

    2. “. . . Chief Justice Roberts will not preside . . . ”

      Maybe they can get Judge Sullivan to preside.

  10. Lawyers love to play games with the law and the Constitution. Language is clear. The Constitution clearly states “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.” There is only one word that one need rely on to understand this simple concept and that is the word ‘AND” when the word ‘AND” is used to link two concepts both concepts must be met. Otherwise the founders would have used the simple ‘OR” Folks its really simple if you car title says Joe Blow and Jane Blow, two signatures need to be on that title to legally transfer title unless one is dead and the matter is probated. If the title says “Joe Blow or Jane Blow” only one of them need agree to transfer. Lawyers love to argue for the sake of argument, and one may even convince some judge who wants a particular outcome but let’s be honest folks, there is no legitimate argument for impeachment trials after one has left office. This is why High crimes and misdemeanors fall into the category of crimes not bad acts or dumb statements. If he ain’t broke no law he can’t be convicted of high crimes and misdemeanors. He did neither, although I know some of you want to call it a crime to say an election was rigged. It is not. It never was and hopeful even if some foolish Congress declares it a crime a Real court with real unbiased judges will say it violates the First Amendment. But with the country turning towards a totalitarian dictatorship under the guise of protecting us from harmful speech, I don’t think the Republic is going to last much longer. Soon its going to be a crime to be a member of the opposition. Just remember the KISS principal… KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID

    1. I totally agree. I find this whole kabuki dance extraordinarily offensive, and I am incensed by the usual surrender by Republicans. The Dems would NEVER behave in this manner; they would be standing by their President and fighting against impeachment…probably to the figurative death. This is all about preventing him from running for office. It is not about taking the high moral ground.

  11. If a President is forced to resign because of complaints regarding his conduct how has he avoided responsibility? Those wishing to impeach Trump are a childish, vengeful and hateful lot. It is not enough that President Trump was investigated for 2 years based on Hillary Clinton’s fallacious fabrications these people want him eliminated. It is beyond argument that the attack on the Capitol was planned by Antifa and that what incited the tiny number of the not very bright Trump supporters who joined them was not anything President Trump said but rather the cowardly refusal of Scotus to allow the case to be presented that the election was not conducted according to law. I hope President Trump defends against this vile attack and fights like he has never fought before and proves the first point, and secondly, that the everything he said about the election being stolen is true.

  12. If I understand correctly, the argument in favor of impeachment would permit former President Obama to be impeached even now and going forward. Might be interesting to see his involvement in Spygate given a proper public airing. Personally though, I agree with you, Professor Turkey. An excellent article, as per norm.

  13. This whole impeachment is nothing more than revenge at the hands of one party and a few worthless Republican law makers in their lust for power.
    When President Trump’s legal team presents it’s defense, the hypocrisy will be put on full display, and calls for other officials to be impeached, to include our Vice President, for their actual incitement of rioting and violence during the George Floyd riots, will not be avoided. All in all, this act of revenge will only infuriate millions across the country further dividing us, and ensures that the Constitution is further watered down for the controlling regime (appropriate term for the banana republic we have become) to disregard. This will never end. If they can do this to former Presidents, think of what they can do to you and I. I weep for our country as the die as been cast and we will not be able to alter the the path we are on that leads to our demise.

  14. If a President takes a bribe immediately before leaving office, I believe she could be indicted for the crime; if convicted, the odds for re-election seem remote, making the impeachment remedy moot. So I don’t think the provision was written to apply to this situation — the alleged “crime” would never stick if prosecuted in a federal court. This is political theatre and nothing more.

    1. Exactly. I am disappointed by the Republicans who refuse to challenge the constitutionally of the trial…but I am not surprised. Where is Ted Cruz? He is the most proficient in understanding the Constitution.Mitch McConnell is the worst. Ben Sasse is a really close second.

  15. Let’s be honest. This 2nd impeachment is about preventing us (the American People) from voting for President Trump again for a second time. For that simple reason it should go no further.

    1. Trump / Biden will solve nothing. Politicians never solve problems. What did Obama do exactly for Blacks? Nada.

      Solving problems falls on each of us. It is incumbent upon people to make their lives better. As we can all tell by these last several decades of data and trends, Americans are not up to the task in exercising self-regulation, resolve, living a purposeful life. It’s all downhill from here for most people. Entropy…it really works!

        1. Oh, China is only one in a long list of countries just licking their chops at the opportunity now to divvy up America and extract its wealth and influence in thousand different ways.
          Where weeks before we had a strong big Daddy leader, who knew who he was and what values had to be protected, we now have an empty shell of a man who will sign anything put before him, and will say anything his handlers need him to say.
          How did we get such a wisp of a national leader?
          Simple, a powerful cabal of information influencers, and voting administrators, concerted to change the election totals from what everyone wanted, to what they wanted. Trump was distributing too much power to the people at the expense of those who fed on a steady flow of cash and influence by peddling the resources and taxpayer’s treasure and the nation’s blood to foreign and domestic power mongers.
          They were willing to do anything to get him out of office, and the public record shows they did.
          Votes flipped, non-existent voters, ballot caches destroyed, votes counted multicably, votes counted after election day, votes from non-residents and non-citizens, votes with no verification or auditability, votes from computer generated non-persons.
          Judiciously targeted at the right election districts, all these techniques conglomerated to “elect” a man who did not campaign, and who had no support from the people.
          That is how we got Joe Biden.

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