Is Trump Impeachment Constitutional? Sen. Paul to Force Senate on the Question

So, can they or can’t they?  Everyone wants to know if it’s constitutional to impeach a person who is no longer in office, and now Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is about to press the point.

Trump is the only president to have been impeached by the House of Representatives twice and is the first to face a trial after leaving power, with the possibility of being disqualified from future public office if convicted by chamber’s 100 senators serving as jurors. The trial is expected to begin on Feb. 9.

Paul, a Trump ally, has pledged to force a vote on whether the Constitution allows the Senate to try the former president who is now a private citizen. Trump left office on Jan. 20.

The House approved a single article of impeachment – the equivalent of an indictment in a criminal trial – on Jan. 13, accusing him of inciting an insurrection with an incendiary speech to supporters before they stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6. A police officer and four others died in the melee.

“I will force a vote on whether the Senate can hold a trial of a private citizen,” Paul wrote on Twitter late on Monday, voicing an objection also raised by other Republicans.

Paul is expected to speak on the Senate floor around midday.

There is a debate among scholars over whether the Senate can hold a trial for Trump now that he has left office. Many experts have said “late impeachment” is constitutional, arguing that presidents who engage in misconduct late in their terms should not be immune from the very process set out in the Constitution for holding them accountable.

The Constitution makes clear that impeachment proceedings can result in disqualification from holding office the future, so there is still an active issue for the Senate to resolve, these scholars have said.

At least 17 Republicans would need to join all 50 Democrats in the evenly divided Senate for Trump to be convicted, a two-thirds threshold that appears unlikely to be reached. Trump remains a powerful force among Republicans and his supporters have vowed to mount election challenges to lawmakers in the party who support a conviction.

Some Republicans have criticized Trump’s false claims of voting fraud and his failed efforts to overturn President Joe Biden’s Nov. 3 election victory. But no Senate Republicans have said definitively that they plan to vote to convict him.

A vote on Paul’s objection could come on Tuesday afternoon when the 100 senators are expected to be sworn in for their role as jurors. Paul’s office was not immediately available for comment.

Paul also has objected to plans to have Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy preside at the trial. U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts presided at Trump’s first impeachment trial, which ended in his acquittal in February 2020 on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress arising from his request that Ukraine investigates Biden and his son.

Paul cited language in the Constitution that states: “When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside.”

Although the Constitution calls on the chief justice to preside over presidential impeachment trials, a senator presides when the impeached is not the current president, a Senate source said. First elected to the chamber in 1974, Leahy, 80, holds the title of Senate president pro tempore.

The nine House Democrats who will serve as prosecutors set the trial in motion on Monday by delivering the article of impeachment to the Senate.

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Comments (16)


  1. Eileen Olovson
    Reply

    This President is no longer in office. You cannot impeach anyone who is NOT in office! Take it to the Suporeme Court. If you listen to Trump’s speech on Jan 6th, he did NOT incite a riot. ANTIFA was already storming the Capital before Trump spoke.

    This is due to Nancy Pelosi’s obsession with Hating TRUMP! She is the one that needs to go! It is her responsibility as a person in Congress to work with whomever the President is and she refused!

    Eileen

  2. Carol
    Reply

    Yeah, let’s just waste more of the taxpayers money instead of working on important stuff. Tired of this 💩!!!!

  3. Billy Wilson
    Reply

    This purely a hate Trump action by the Democrat’s who fear him ever getting back in power so they are trying everything they can to try and stop him. They need to remember over 70 million voted for him they can help vote these people out. If California ever removes Pelosi from office she is now in it for herself over the nation. Followed by AOC , the Squad, Waters , Schumer , Schiff and the rest of the radicals.

  4. miss maggie
    Reply

    This 2nd bogus impeachment proves that demonrat politicians have an emotional age of 10 yrs old and are nothing more than schoolyard bullies who are beating up a kid that don’t like. These are the same cretins who refused to pass covid relief then passed a bill that profited other countries and was a slap in the face to Americans. Anyone who votes for these jerks must really hate themselves.

  5. Brenda
    Reply

    The Democrats just want to get rid of Trump because they’re afraid he will run again after four years this app the Democrats Biden iIs destroying them you nine it states and I think all of them involved in doing this should be the ones they are impeached not President Trump

  6. Cathy Schroeder
    Reply

    It is to bad that the Dumbocrats can’t find something constructive to do instead of harassing a President that is no longer in office. I think that it is Unconstitutional to impeach a President that has left the office all because they are afraid that if he run’s in 2024 that he will more than likely win after putting up with four years of their corruptness as well as their ineptness. They were being paid the whole time Trump was in office and instead of doing something to benefit the country they were too busy trying to get Trump out of office on any pretext possible instead of working for the people. Who was it that held up the stimulus package ( it was Nancy the nut, not Trump). All those complaining about that should have considered that when they were voting. People need to stop gobbling up all that the Left tells them to believe and pay attention to what is really going on.

  7. Jeffrey L Burke
    Reply

    Leave Trump alone and lock up Biden for cheating in the election👍👍
    HE KNOWS WHAT HES DONE!!!

  8. John Galt
    Reply

    Of course not. That is why Chief Justice Roberts refused to preside over the hearings. He knows that the hearings are unconstitutional. The SCOTUS may need to decide whether the hearings are Constitutional and CJ Roberts does not want to be disqualified from participating. The only thing certain is that Pelosi, Basement Joe and their ilk are evil and wasting the taxpayers money. And they are ruling our country. INSANITY!!!

    • Janice Bewley
      Reply

      Couldn’t agree with you more. Biden’s first day in office cost 11,000 workers their jobs. Isn’t that a great (not) start. If he stays in office for a full term he will ruin this country.

  9. John
    Reply

    The new communist party of America is about to impeach a civilian ex-president and circumvent our constitution. But your Dear Leader, the Great Unifier Biden will fix everything. 1. He will destroy jobs
    2. He will stop free speech
    3. He will steal your savings and retirement accounts
    4. He will make life saving drugs unaffordable
    5. He will make you kneel down to China, AOC, and the world health organization
    6. He will make you responsible for the ruined cities, states, and all the millions of illegal immigrants.
    7. etc, etc, etc
    Aren’t we the luckiest nation on earth? Go out and celebrate now you lucky, lucky people. Remember covid can only kill you, but Your Dear Leader and comrades will make you suffer for ever. We are definitely a privilege group of future communist slaves. Go forth and rejoice.

    • Elizabeth Dick
      Reply

      Well Said!

      • William Godsey
        Reply

        Agree Hunter Biden is rolling in dough from China and more will come his way and Dad will share.

  10. Rex Whitmer
    Reply

    Trump hasn’t gone nearly so close to an impeachable offense as have some others now sitting in Congress! Shumer and Pelosi both fit that bill! The entire second impeachment trial was as big of a farce as I’ve seen ever!

  11. Rick Oslos
    Reply

    Everything the dems are doing to President Trump is intended to keep us from looking at what they are really doing, and that is robbing us. Of all the billions of dollars in the stimulus package, how much went to americans that need it, and how much went into the pockets of friends of Biden and Pelosi? Think about it. Trump wanted to drain the swamp of all the people that are living a life style that the average tax payers can only imagine.

    • Godsey
      Reply

      Biden’s boy/man made money off China and I believe Biden received lots of that money.

  12. William Godsey
    Reply

    Demos hate Trump and have since the beginning. Remember the speaker of the house wanted him impeached even before he took office. She, who walks funny, is convinced that she is the legal ruler of the USA, and will do everything in her warped power to be so.

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