Democrats’ desire to exact a political pound of flesh led to Donald Trump being the first President impeached twice.
Now the articles of impeachment head off to the Senate for a trial.
But Democrats got some bad news because one judge’s impeachment ruling had Donald Trump grinning from ear to ear.
- Michael Luttig served as a federal judge for 15 years from 1991 to 2006.
Luttig is well-respected, not just in conservative legal circles, but in legal circles period.
In a Washington Post op-ed, Luttig wrote that Democrats and Never Trump RINOs had one big problem—it would be unconstitutional to hold an impeachment trial for Donald Trump once he leaves office.
On the day the House impeached the President on a 232 to 197 vote with ten RINO traitors joining the Democrats, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sent around a letter announcing that a trial could not start until 1PM on January 20, which would be one hour after Joe Biden took office.
In his op-ed, Luttig explains why this timing makes any impeachment trial null and void.
“The reason for this is found in the Constitution itself. Trump would no longer be 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,” Luttig wrote.
Luttig explained that the “plain text” of the Constitution prevented the Senate from holding an impeachment trial after the President left office.
“The plain text of the Constitution’s several Impeachment Clauses confirms this understanding of this limit on Congress’ impeachment power. For example, Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution 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.’ In the same constitutional vein, Article I, Section 3 provides in relevant part: ‘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,’” Luttig added.
Luttig also addressed the theory that the Senate could hold a trial and convict the President for the purposes of handing down a punishment of banning Donald Trump from ever running for office again.
By Luttig’s reading of the Constitution, the fact is that President Trump can only be barred from office following a constitutional impeachment and since the President would already be out of office, the trial could not be considered constitutional.
“This is incorrect because it is a constitutional impeachment of a president that authorizes his constitutional disqualification. If a president has not been constitutionally impeached, then the Senate is without the constitutional power to disqualify him from future office,” Luttig added.
Luttig did concede that Senator William Blount was impeached in 1797 and Secretary of War William Belknap was impeached in 1876 after resigning their offices, but that this was a question the Supreme Court was likely to decide in the President’s favor.
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