Is a Senate trial of Trump’s impeachment by the House constitutional now, even though he is no longer in office? Of course it is!
It is a fundamental mistake to confuse congressional impeachment with a civil trial. The two have quite different purposes, and very different rules apply to them. 1/15
For one thing (not the only thing), the Constitution does not authorize Congress to impose the same civil penalties that civil courts can impose. 2/15
Trump — who was a private person as well as president on or before January 6 — might well be tried in criminal court now *as a private person* for his actions *as a private person* on or before January 6, 3/15
including charges for one or more criminal offenses (felonies) — as for example, incitement to insurrection — because of them. But Congress is not authorized to do that. 4/15
What Congress can do even now, however, is disqualify Trump from holding any federal offices in the future.
The Constitution expressly grants Congress the power to do this, and also expressly denies civil courts the power to do it. 5/15
Since disqualification from holding any future office is clearly a power that Congress has, it is absurd to suggest that it has no power to disqualify Trump from holding any federal office in the future 6/15
on the grounds that the Senate did not have enough *time* before he left office to conduct the trial after the House had impeached him.7/15
Article I, Section 3, Clauses 6 and 7 of the U.S. Constitution provide:
“The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments.” 8/15
Note that the Article says “all* impeachments.
Did the House impeach then President Trump on 13 January 2021?
Yes it did. 9/15
Can the Senate bring the impeachment to trial now that Trump is out of office?
Yes it can, because the Constitution says: “removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor.” 10/15
The Constitution does *not* say: “disqualification…. *only if* the person is still *in* office when he or she is convicted. 11/15
When the House impeaches it sends articles of impeachment to the Senate for trial. If the Senate convicts, the Senate can either remove and disqualify; remove and not disqualify; or simply disqualify if no longer in office. 12/15
Article I, Section 3, Clauses 6 and 7 provide: 13/15
Wikipedia on impeachment: 14/15
That’s it, folks. QED. 15/15