The Constitutionality of Convicting a Former President

Constitutionality of Convicting a Former President
constitutionality of convicting a former President

Now that second impeachment trial is over for former President Donald Trump it is worth analysis on how this all went down and argue why it is Constitutional to put a former President on Trial in the United States Senate.

January 6th was a dark day in American history as a group of insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to stop the certification of the 2020 Presidential Election. They attempted to capture and kill our leaders of government and it was all done at the urging of then-President Trump. The House of Representatives pushed for a fast track impeachment of former President Trump and because his term expired on January 20th his trial in the Senate could not start until after.

Now, many Republicans in the Senate are trying to hide behind a wall of what they deem to be the Constitutionality of putting a former President on trial. They claim that because he is out of office it is not in their purview to vote on conviction because the Constitution only prescribes impeaching and convicting a sitting President.

For starters, members of Congress don’t get to determine the Constitutionality of an issue, that is the job of the courts.

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.

The article is extremely vague and doesn’t account for what could happen in the last days of a President’s term. The impeachment clause is used to protect the sanctity of the office of President and just because a President commits an impeachable offense in his last days in office doesn’t mean he is exempt from being held to the Constitution.

With some Senator’s logic then a President can walk out on January 20th before noon on Pennsylvania Avenue, murder someone, and then hide behind the fact that he is no longer President when his successor is sworn in.

If the Senate had voted to convict former President Trump then they could have set the precedent that no President is above the law no matter when and if he is President.

Categories: Libertarian

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