January 25, 2021

Did Chief Justice John Roberts decline to preside over the Senate trial of the Trump impeachment?

I'm trying to understand "John Roberts ducks the spotlight by skipping the second Trump impeachment trial" by Joan Biskupic (CNN). 

Ducks by skipping?!! That's a daffy way to put it. I think it means John Roberts arrived at the view that there was no occasion for the Chief Justice to preside, and therefore he has a duty to refrain from participating. That's not ducking and it's not skipping. When he presides, it's because he must, and when he refrains, it's because he must. It's based on an interpretation of law. 

But I can't tell, reading this article, if he was asked to preside and communicated a refusal, or if Senate Democrats decided that the Constitution, Article I, Section 3, does not provide for a role for the Chief Justice. 

The article says "Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat and the president pro tempore of the chamber, will preside for Trump's second impeachment trial." So, it seems a decision has been made, but did Roberts participate? Did the Senate Democrats want him, or are they, on their own, taking the opportunity to exclude him?

Biskupic writes that the constitutional text is, "When the President of the United States is impeached, the Chief Justice shall preside," which obscures the argument Roberts-excluders must make. The actual text is "When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside." The argument must be that Trump is no longer the President of the United States, therefore there's no role for the Chief Justice. That also provides a foundation for an argument that there is now no occasion for a trial of impeachment — impeachment is a procedure for removing the President — and it is an abuse of power for the Senate to try the former President, deprived of the safeguard of the Chief Justice as a neutral arbiter. 

It would be interesting to know what Roberts thinks about these things, but I can't even tell if Roberts was involved in the decision to leave it to Leahy. Biskupic writes:
Since the US House of Representatives impeached Trump on January 13, Roberts has declined multiple requests for comment on his responsibility, if any, for a trial after Trump left office on January 20.

Has he declined to communicate with the Senators? 

Leahy had earlier said that "the first choice" for presiding officer would be the chief justice...

So that must mean that Leahy did not interpret Article I, Section 3 to exclude the Chief Justice, and I would argue that must mean that there cannot be a trial. If the Chief Justice is permitted, then he is required

... and [Leahy] would not reveal on Monday when it became clear that the duty would fall to him...

If the Chief Justice is required, then what Leahy is about to do is not a duty. Taking on a role that is not yours under the Constitution is an abuse of power. 

... telling reporters only that he was "up to the responsibility."

Whether he's up to it or not is irrelevant, but it's not a "responsibility" unless the Constitution assigns him that role. If he sought Roberts's participation, then he thought it was Roberts's role. You can't have it both ways! 

Roberts had no comment on Monday on Leahy's announcement of his role or dealings with senators....

That's not surprising, but it leaves us to puzzle out the meaning. I wonder what the anti-Trump Senators really want? It seems so unfair to have Leahy presiding, and it's going to look hyper-partisan to people, especially to the 74 million Americans who voted for Trump. The easy out is to say the impeachment is moot, because Trump is out of office. I understand why Trump opponents want to proceed against him anyway, but I don't think it will go very well for them. Trump is out of office. Leave him alone.

UPDATE: The Biskupic article now has a correction of the error I wrote about. The disclosure of the correction says:
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly referenced the Constitution's terms about the Senate trial. The passage reads, "When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside."

170 comments:

Rory said...

"I wonder what the anti-Trump Senators really want?"

They want to convey that even if they push you out of your job, they'll decide when they're done with you.

Meade said...

"If the Chief Justice is required, then what Leahy is about to do is not a duty. Taking on a role that is not yours under the Constitution is an abuse of power."

Will Leahy be costumed in his horned animal skin shaman outfit?

Ann Althouse said...

"Will Leahy be costumed in his horned animal skin shaman outfit?"

Can someone do a photoshop of this? I'd like to put it on the front page.

Gahrie said...

"I wonder what the anti-Trump Senators really want?"

To punish Trump and his supporters for defeating Hillary in 2016.

It seems so unfair to have Leahy presiding, and it's going to look hyper-partisan to people, especially to the 74 million Americans who voted for Trump.

More unfair and hyper-partisan than the impeachment in the first place? They crossed the Rubicon weeks ago. It is clear that they have no intention of moderation or unity. They intend to kneel on the necks of the Deplorables and impose their socialist paradise on all of us.

I suppose some will find it boring.

Yancey Ward said...

The Chief Justice doesn't participate in all impeachment trials- the Constitution only demands it when it is the President who is being tried. It is a fair question whether or not Trump fits the definition of a President who is being tried by the Senate since he is only a former President.

The entire 2nd impeachment is a bag of flaming dogshit the Democrats left on the porch of the House and Senate Republicans. The question is how many of the Republicans take the bait. Liz Cheney took the bait, and I think it likely Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Rob Portman also step in the shit, but they all are planning on never wearing the shoe again.

Gahrie said...

If the Chief Justice is required, then what Leahy is about to do is not a duty. Taking on a role that is not yours under the Constitution is an abuse of power.

Why shouldn't a legislator take on the role of a Supreme Court Justice, the Supreme Court has taken on the role of legislators going back to the Warren Court.

Rabel said...

Amazing that they got the text of the Constitution wrong.

The Article of Impeachment has been delivered to the Senate. The trial process has begun. The Chief justice has a Constitutionally mandated duty. He must do his duty or he must give a justification for not.

Silence is not an option.

Marty said...

Trump holds no public office and now is a private citizen of the US. If his impeachment is not moot, does that mean the House can "impeach" any regular US citizen and the Senate can try the targeted individual?

eddie willers said...

The easy out is to say the impeachment is moot,

Of course that is the easy way out. And the only Constitutional way as well.

Otherwise they are digging up a Pope to excommunicate him. That didn't work out well the last time.

Achilles said...

That's not surprising, but it leaves us to puzzle out the meaning. I wonder what the anti-Trump Senators really want?

They are illegitimate rulers who have built a purposely opaque election system to maintain a 95% re-election rate for a body that has a 15% approval rate.

They want their serfs to stop resisting.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Rules are made so corrupt democrats can abuse them.

Achilles said...

Again this is the Swamp just letting everyone know that Trump got far more legitimate votes than Biden.

They know that to beat him in 2024 they would have to be even more obvious in their fraud.

They know that we are not going to let them count votes in dark hidey holes again.

eddie willers said...

and the Senate can try the targeted individual?

That's a Bill of Attainder. Also a no-no under our Constitution.

Achilles said...

BidenFamilyTaxPayerFundedCrackPipe said...

Rules are made so corrupt democrats can abuse them.

You need to get over this obsession with Democrats. The Republican Party Machinery is just as committed to this fraud as the Democrat party.

Everyone who has supported and voted for people like Mitt Romney in the past needs to understand they were wrong and they supported cowards and traitors.

NCMoss said...

Leahy said in regards to Bill Clinton's impeachment:

Partisan impeachment drives are doomed to fail. The Senate must restore sanity to this impeachment process. We must exercise judgment and do justice. We have to act in the interest of the Nation. History will judge us based on whether this case was resolved in a way that serves the good of the country, not the political ends of any party or the fortunes of any person.

If Leahy presides over the impeachment trial, let's hope he follows his own good advice.

Marty said...

The law is what I say it is, said Stephen VI. Pope Formosus did not reply silence, acquiesced.

Leland said...

I really thought they would stop at lowering the impeachment bar to just passing a bill. I thought they would be smart enough to stop the trial for the pretense of unity. I didn’t expect them to lower the bar for conducting trials of former officials in Congress. There will be a tat.

Dr Weevil said...

The question no one seems to have asked: does Leahy think he can preside over the trial as a 'neutral' judge and then vote to convict as a member of the Senate? I suspect he thinks he can do exactly that, though anyone not blinded by partisan hate can see that you can't serve as judge and member of the jury in the same case. Has anyone thought to ask him?

Recusing could make it harder to get to 2/3rds. Then again, not necessarily: if absolutely every eligible senator shows up and votes, 66 out of 99 without Leahy is just as easy to reach as 67 out of 100 with Leahy.

Marty said...

"That's a Bill of Attainder. Also a no-no under our Constitution."

Why, yes, I do believe that's correct. I would guess that Eddie was an A student in school.

And does that concept have any application now?

Francisco D said...

The show must go on, with Roberts or without.

But it won't and the Democrat media will blame it on Republican intransigence.

I am hoping that they have their Soviet-style trial.

Larry J said...

Donald Trump is now a private citizen. Where in the Constitution does it say that the Senate has the authority to try private citizens? Who am I kidding? They don’t give a damn about the Constitution, just raw, naked power.

Mark said...

Sorry, Roberts can't duck it entirely. Either he presides or he has to state on the record his refusal and the grounds therefor. None of the secret Star Chamber rulings.

Browndog said...

Democrats will call any defense of Trump at this "trial" sedition.

Mark said...

It is a fair question whether or not Trump fits the definition of a President who is being tried by the Senate since he is only a former President.

Trump is factually a private citizen, making ANY trial a bill of attainder.

The actual bill of impeachment refers to "President Trump," and actions are tried on the pleadings. Thus, Roberts is the required presiding officer -- presiding long enough to dismiss the entire farce for lack of jurisdiction, given that there is now no "President Trump."

Breezy said...

The plot thickens... Our bettors do not even understand the basic language in the Constitution. They want to push the window, so they impeach, thinking all the same characters will go along as they did a year ago. The time is right everyone is upset don’t let this crisis go to waste!! Yet now, they can’t get the CJ to show up. That’s how far afield they are. Patrick Leahy is a partisan democrat! Trump could object to the rank conflict of interest. They need to stop, just stop. It’s like they think we were all born yesterday.

rhhardin said...

In a trial of the President, the VP has a conflict of interest and so can't preside (he becomes President). So the Chief Justice presides.

This is not such a trial, so the VP can preside (no such conflict of interest).

Speculations about advisability or propriety are independent of that.

The idea though is to destroy Trumpism by completing an aborted ceremony.

Moondawggie said...

With Roberts bowing out, and an "impartial" Leahy taking his place, this latest impeachment exercise is straight out of Karl Marx: "History repeats itself: first as tragedy, second as farce."

Gotta hand it to the Dem TDSers: they follow their Socialist God's musings to the letter.

Rabel said...

Could Roberts, as an interested party with standing, submit the question to the Supreme Court for a ruling?

rhhardin said...

How many government employees have been made to feel bad by something Trump said about them. This is a big deal.

rehajm said...

Sounds like a sham. They'll have their fake trial with a fake result and their propagandists will hound anyone who dares question it.

rhhardin said...

The Supreme Court doesn't get to rule. It's the Senate's ceremony.

rehajm said...

Anything in the Constitution that prohibits the Senate from play acting?

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I'm shocked that a story from CNN about legal issues would be devoid of any legal analysis and seems instead to be shooting from the hip about what someone thinks should be true. And not specifying whether Roberts has declined requests to speak with the Senate or whether only from her - why I can hardly credit that this story passed CNN's editors, known to be sticklers for precision in all matters regarding Trump.

I begin to fear for the objectivity of CNN. Let us hope that other sources do not follow it down this road.

Mark said...

Why do so many people think that the Supreme Court is the be all and end all?

The word "supreme" is just a judicial title, not a descriptor of all human life.

rehajm said...

Welcome to the land of make believe. Can you say fraudulent? I knew that you could...

robother said...

I take it that Senator Leahy will be wearing judicial robes for the occasion. And the Black Cap.

gspencer said...

An impeachment trial of a president must be presided by the chief justice. That's clear. Otherwise it's not an impeachment trial which conforms with the Constitution. Meaning it's not an impeachment trial.

Rabel said...

If you've watched Leahy recently you might wonder if he's physically capable of presiding. He could barely walk to the front of the Senate chamber for his most recent swearing-in.

Rt41Rebel said...

"Why do so many people think that the Supreme Court is the be all and end all?"

The Constitution is (theoretically) the be all and end all.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Trump can still be removed from the Office of Former President, if currently holding an office is a requirement for an impeachment trial - and there is no requirement in the Constitution that it be an important office as opposed to an honorary one. If we’re paying him, we can impeach him. Also, isn’t Trump still claiming he’s the rightful holder of the office of President?

Richard said...

Why stop with being the judge and jury? Shouldn’t Sen. Leahy also be the prosecutor and defense attorney?

Rabel said...

"The Supreme Court doesn't get to rule. It's the Senate's ceremony."

A ceremony detailed in the Constitution which must follow the Constitution.

If they deviate from that it is very much the role of the SC to call them down.

rcocean said...

why isn't anyone thinking of the PRECESDENT this is setting! Lets say, the D''s impeach Trump and fail. What is to prevent them from IMPEACHING HIM AGAIN in 2022 or 2024? They thought up the Ukrainian phone call last year, and they passed this bogus "High Crime" in 2 hours debate. So, don't tell me they couldn't think of something.

So, what's to prevent the D's from waiting till 2024, and then impeaching and removing him and forbidding him to run for office? What's to prevent them from impeaching and trying him every six months till he dies?

Private citizens can't be forbidden by Congress from running for office. Trump is a private citizen. What right does the Senate have to try and impeach him? This is insane! Just like having 25,000 NG troops in DC Over nothing. Insane!

Yancey Ward said...

Assistant Village Idiot,

Bravo!!

FullMoon said...

Left Bank of the Charles said... [hush]​[hide comment]

Trump can still be removed from the Office of Former President, if currently holding an office is a requirement for an impeachment trial - and there is no requirement in the Constitution that it be an important office as opposed to an honorary one.


So, the idea is that Trump can no longer be a former president. Makes sense.

DavidUW said...

they should probably debate this too.

for months and months. years even. 100% of the senate needs to ponder this and opine.

Rory said...

It's a trick: they'll remove a president from office, let Biden see it on TV, and he'll take the train back to Wilmington.

Rt41Rebel said...

"So, the idea is that Trump can no longer be a former president. Makes sense."

That would be great. Trump could still run for President, because he wasn't impeached from being President, and he could serve 8 years because he's not a Former President.

Mark said...

Sigh. Don't make me repeat myself.

rcocean said...

The SCOTUS doesn't get involved in deciding what's a "High Crime and Misdemeanor". Nor do they rule on whether someone should be removed from office. However, they SHOULD Rule on whether an ex-President can be impeached and removed from office & forbidden from holding it again. This is not just the "Senate's business". Its a matter of what the Constitution language means. Its also a balance of power issue. If Presidents can be tried AFTER they leave office and forbidden to be president again, it diminishes the power of the Presidency.

BTW, notice that Fraud George bush has said NOTHING. You'd think as an ex-President, he'd care about the prestige and power of the Presidency via Congress but I guess not.

rcocean said...

There now seems to be 3 types of people.

1) Current Presidents who can be impeached via a Trial Presided over by the Chief Justice and removed from office.
2) Private Citizens and Congressman who can't be impeached or forbidden from holding office.
3) Ex-Presidents who can be impeached and forbidden from holding office without the Chief Justice presiding over a trial.

Meade said...

"It's a trick: they'll remove a president from office, let Biden see it on TV, and he'll take the train back to Wilmington."

LOL

Rt41Rebel said...

"That would be great. Trump could still run for President, because he wasn't impeached from being President, and he could serve 8 years because he's not a Former President."

Actually, it even better.... If Trump is elected to be POTUS, he serves for a life, because he can't be a Former President.

rcocean said...

How can Trump get a fair trial, when Leahy will preside over it AND vote? Its like having a member of the prosecution team doubling as the Judge. BTW, its funny how everyone, especially the News Media, starts with the assumption that every fucking Democrat will vote guilty - no matter what.

Why even go through the pretense of a "Trial" ? Just do what the House did. have a two hour "debate" and then vote. All the D's will vote guilty, so why waste our time. The only question is whether 17 R traitors will join them.

JK Brown said...

If I was the troublesome type, I might wait until the Senate convenes this alleged impeachment trial of a former official, then run over to force the Supreme Court to issue an interpretation of the constitutionality of the proceeding against a private citizen. Tangle it all up for a few news cycles.

Then should they convict, challenge the constitutionality since being out of office, the Senate cannot impose the required penalty of removal, so how could they move to the discretionary penalty of disqualification. The latter itself seems problematic since it permits the Senate to supersede the will of the People should they choose to elect the person to office.

Tangle is up for four glorious years of litigation, that at least drives the news cycle.

rehajm said...

Like when the last time we had a Democrat President with all those 'signing statements' and such. I think he signed a 'bill' into 'law' or some such. Republicans ignored it but didn't try to reveal the farce.

rcocean said...

Obviously, Roberts was asked and declined. The D's want Roberts to add a veneer of respectability to their farce. And how could they NOT ask? The constitution is unclear. And we've had the Chief Justice at all the other trials. Including the one last year

I'm Full of Soup said...

Althouse tries to get her news from CNN? Guess she's new to this planet.

Narayanan said...

can the senators mail in their votes and let the D count them.

Achilles said...

rehajm said...

Anything in the Constitution that prohibits the Senate from play acting?

The prohibition embodied in this clause is not to be narrowly construed in the context of traditional forms but is to be interpreted in accordance with the designs of the framers so as to preclude trial by legislature, which would violate the separation of powers.1912 The clause thus prohibits all legislative acts, “no matter what their form, that apply either to named individuals or to easily ascertainable members of a group in such a way as to inflict punishment on them without a judicial trial. . . .”1913

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, are you bored yet?

rcocean said...

Final Comment. This is why i hate mcconnell and his clown Senate Republicans. This was passed by the House with 2 hours debate and only 10 R's voting for it. It was passed by a lame duck congress. The whole thing is one page. Its absurd on its face. Just like the hyper-partisan Ukraine impeachment was.

Yet, McConnell pompously treats it with great seriousness and acts like the House deliberated and its a great Constitutional moment. He should be mocking this and Pelosi. But he refuses to do so, because he's a RINO and hates Trump.

Mark said...

Resolution impeaching Donald John Trump, President of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors.

Resolved, the Donald John Trump, President of the United States, is impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors and that the following article of impeachment be exhibited to the United States Senate:

Article of impeachment exhibited by the House of Representatives of the United States of America in the name of itself and of the people of the United States of America, against Donald John Trump, President of the United States of America, in maintenance and support of its impeachment against him for high crimes and misdemeanors.

ARTICLE 1: INCITEMENT OF INSURRECTION

The Constitution provides that the House of Representatives "shall have the sole Power of Impeachment" and that the President "shall be removed from Office on Impeachment, for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors." Further, section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution prohibits any person who has "engaged in insurrection or rebellion against" the United States from "hold[ing] and office ... under the United States.' In his conduct while President of the United States — and in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, provide, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed — Donald John Trump engaged in high Crimes and Misdemeanors by inciting violence against the Government of the United States, in that:. . .

David Begley said...

The Dems will never leave Trump alone.

After Trump is dead and buried, they will dig up his body and desecrate it by dragging it behind a chariot racing around Capitol Hill. Live on CNN, of course.

Unknown said...

If the issue of a Senate trial is moot, that's one thing, but I'd like to see Trump make his case against the charge, like an officer who demands a court martial.

Mark said...

. . . On January 6, 2021, pursuant to the 12th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the Vice President of the United States, the House of Representatives, and the Senate met at the United States Capitol for a Joint Session of Congress to count the votes of the Electoral College. In the months preceding the Joint Session, President Trump repeatedly issued false statements asserting that the Presidential election results were the product of widespread fraud and should not be accepted by the American people or certified by State or Federal officials. Shortly before the Joint Session commenced, President Trump, addressed a crowd at the Ellipse in Washington, D.C. There, he reiterated false claims that "we won this election, and we won it by a landslide." He also willfully made statements that, in context, encouraged — and foreseeably resulted in — lawless action at the Capitol, such as: "if you don't fight like hell you're not going to have a country anymore." Thus incited by President Trump, members of the crowd he had addressed, in an attempt to, among other objectives, interfere with the Joint Session's solemn constitutional duty to certify the results of the 2020 Presidential election, unlawfully breached and vandalized the Capitol, injured and killed law enforcement personnel, menaced Members of Congress, the Vice President, and Congressional personnel, and engaged in other violent, deadly, destructive and seditious acts.

President Trump's conduct on January 6, 2021, followed his prior efforts to subvert and obstruct the certification of the results of the 2020 Presidential election. Those prior efforts included a phone call on January 2, 2021, during which President Trump urged the secretary of state of Georgia, Brad Raffensperger, to "find" enough votes to overturn the Georgia Presidential election results and threatened Secretary Raffensperger if he failed to do so.

In all this, President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government. He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coequal branch of Government. He thereby betrayed his trust as President, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.

Wherefore, Donald John Trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office, and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law. Donald John Trump thus warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.

rehajm said...

Yes but what does the Constitution say about a mock trial?

rehajm said...

Senate Dems will refer to the constitution.

See what I did there?

David Begley said...

Can the House impeach and the Senate try George Washington? He owned slaves. We also know where his body is buried.

Mark said...

As the Articles of Impeachment themselves show, Trump is charged precisely as president. And the requested relief is precisely removal from office.

Cases are tried on the pleadings.

I know that things like the law are no longer fashionable, but if we are going to claim to do this to uphold the law, we should at least follow it to some extent.

I know that frauds like Pelosi and Schumer and, yes, Romney don't give a shit about the law and about the facts, but there it is.

The charges against Trump, "President of the United States," are facially deficient against Trump, private citizen. He is charged as president, he can only be tried as president. Not being president, he cannot be tried.

jaydub said...

I'm waiting for the Canadian ruling from Ken B. Issues of such importance should not be left to US courts, laws or citizens.

Humperdink said...

rcocean: "McConnell pompously treats it with great seriousness and acts like the House deliberated and its a great Constitutional moment. He should be mocking this and Pelosi. But he refuses to do so, because he's a RINO and hates Trump."

Right on the button. Especially the mocking part. Pealosi should be ridiculed to tears.

Mark said...

The only lawful and constitutional result is summary dismissal.

Openidname said...

"Leland said...

"There will be a tat."

I think you mean there will be a tit.

P.S. Although my version is correct, it is also unfortunately open to ambiguity.

David Begley said...

Erin Burnett of CNN tonight: Everyone knows he’s guilty. He incited an insurrection.

gspencer said...

Okay, they go through with all this nonsense, tossing the clear language of the Constitution. They get 17 Repubs to defect (using a secret ballot which won't bother the Ds and provides cover for the defectors). Then they impose the sentence: Trump can't run for federal office ever again.

In 2023 Trump announces, starts his campaign and raises money.

Who enforces the unconstitutional "sentence?"

mccullough said...

Roberts refusal to preside means that he believes he is not required to preside.

He’s also not required to administer the oath of office to the president.

Yet it has done it four times.

Maybe Leahy can administer the oath of office in four years.

Dr Weevil said...

Left Bank (8:12pm):
"If we're paying him, we can impeach him." Not a compelling argument. Trump refused a salary for four years: I think it's a safe bet he's refusing a presidential pension now. He's been using his own security along with the Secret Service for four years, and can easily do without the latter, as he did for many years before he was elected, so he's not necessarily being subsidized in that way. He can also easily afford to build his own presidential library, with or without yuge contributions from the general public, so he need not accept any taxpayer funds for that. In short, he's not a federal parasite like other former presidents, which gives the silly impeachers far less power over him.

wildswan said...

"Rabel said...
Could Roberts, as an interested party with standing, submit the question to the Supreme Court for a ruling?"

I think this is the way to go.

Also, if retrospective impeachments are legal in cancel culture, I wonder if Senator Ted Kennedy can be impeached for leaving Mary Jo Kopechne to die? It's not too late, either, to get former President Woodrow Wilson for introducing segregation in Federal jobs. And his wife, for being actual President while not elected which is somewhat like being a past President.

Mark said...

How would the Supreme Court rule if presented the question at this stage?

"Dismissed for want of jurisdiction. We, the Supreme Court, are not the be all and end all."

David Begley said...

Mark is correct.

Larry Tribe of Harvard Law was on CNN. He said that on the impeachment, Trump’s legal team was relying on “a legal technicality.”

Me: Yeah, the actual text of the Constitution! LOL.

Larry Tribe gets a big fat F from DDB from the low rated Creighton Law School.

Original Mike said...

Left Bank of the Charles said..."Trump can still be removed from the Office of Former President,…"

Blogger FullMoon responded..."So, the idea is that Trump can no longer be a former president. Makes sense."


LOL. It makes sense to Left Bank (apparently).

Will history books be prohibited from discussingPresident Trump, Left Bank? How very Soviet.

YoungHegelian said...

I can understand why Democratic politicians would go on the news shows after Trump left office and say something to the effect of "I'm sure glad that asshole's gone from DC", except perhaps in a more polite fashion. I'd disagree, but that would be a "reasonable" response.

But, this Constitutionally-dubious impeachment and the calling up of 2 &1/2 divisions of National Guard to repel an awful and powerful fascist uprising of which there wasn't a peep, this just seems to point to the fact that many in our leadership seem to be clinically insane. I really do believe now that Pelosi & Schumer are insane, or at least so deeply into dementia as to be not of sound mind. How can the rest of the House & Senate go along with these things? Are they the insane being led by the insane?

Get to work, you assholes! Or, even better, just go home and let us all get by.

Dr Weevil said...

Mark (two comments, both timed 8:42pm) quotes the impeachment itself as repeatedly calling Trump "president". Could he argue that that is itself an admission that the election was stolen and that he is in fact the rightful and de jure President of the United States, though Biden, or whoever is whispering in his earpiece, is currently de facto president?

I still think he has absolute and incontestable proof of election theft, and is waiting to drop it in one metaphorical nuclear blast, most likely at his trial. Delaying until then would give Biden and his gang plenty of rope to demonstrate yet more clearly and irrefutably what tyrannical assholes and pathetic incompetents they all are, so most of the public, including millions of disillusioned Biden voters, will be glad to find that Biden actually lost, and relieved to have Trump back in the White House. We shall see.

Mark said...

On the merits, what exactly is charged?

1. "President Trump repeatedly issued false statements asserting that the Presidential election results were the product of widespread fraud and should not be accepted";

2. "President Trump, addressed a crowd at the Ellipse in Washington, D.C. There, he reiterated false claims that 'we won this election, and we won it by a landslide.'"

3. "He also willfully made statements...such as: 'if you don't fight like hell you're not going to have a country anymore.'"

4. "President Trump urged the secretary of state of Georgia, Brad Raffensperger, to 'find' enough votes to overturn the Georgia Presidential election results and threatened Secretary Raffensperger if he failed to do so."

That's it. That's the stuff of farce, unlawful, unconstitutional impeachments that are de facto coups and the real anti-democratic insurrection.

Zach said...

I did not see this one coming.

You've got to think this is a pretty strong signal that the Supreme Court won't go along with a post facto impeachment, right? If it's a real impeachment, his attendance is mandatory. If he's declining to comment, it's because he thinks it is likely to be a future case.

John henry said...

jaydub said...

I'm waiting for the Canadian ruling from Ken B. Issues of such importance should not be left to US courts, laws or citizens.


Naaaah. In Canada the pm has to have the queen of England's approval. She can withdraw that approval at any time.

Yes, I know it is just a formality and if she tried to exercise that power it would cause a CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS!!! (whatever that means)

But she still has that power.

I also realize that she is "Queen of Canada". But only because she is queen of England.

John henry
Always a citizen, never a subject

Michael K said...

Left bank:

" If we’re paying him, we can impeach him. Also, isn’t Trump still claiming he’s the rightful holder of the office of President?" You're not paying him, dip. Your allies stole the election. Now you want to piss on his grave.

Ken B said...

It’s not attainder because it’s a judgment on an act of the house which was perfectly legal. Maybe you could argue a new impeachment is attainder, but even that’s a stretch.

As for the wording around who presides, as Yancey Ward correctly notes this is a matter of construal. But it is common for a person's status at the beginning of a legal process to be deemed that status throughout the course of the proceedings. I think this is Althouse’s construal too, since she argues that if Roberts is eligible then he is so only under that passage, and that passage makes him mandatory.

I don’t think you should construe the constitution in a way that makes it incoherent when there is a way to read it as coherent. The incoherent reading is that it is possible to impeach a president under circumstances where a trial is impossible, for example an impeachment an hour before he leaves office (which James Madison assures us is possible.) The simple coherent reading is that Trump can be tried and Roberts must preside.

Zach said...

On a purely legal level, the best move would be to pass a resolution instructing Roberts to try the case, right? Then if he declines you sue him.

It would be politically disastrous, though.

But trying him anyway using a kangaroo judge hardly seems better.

Declining to accept the articles of impeachment on grounds of mootness would be the best move on the board, but we already knew that.

Rabel said...

"The simple coherent reading is that Trump can be tried and Roberts must preside."

Sure.

Ken B said...

Jay dub
Happy to oblige. You could respond to my arguments, but you won’t.
It’s a source of amusement that Trumpkins routinely live down to the worst stereotype of ignorant bigots and yet demand respect.

Bob Smith said...

If you aren’t smart enough to know a Kangaroo Court when one appears you don’t deserve to live in a republic.

Zach said...

Having proved incurably wishy washy as a jurist, Roberts has decided to secure his place in legal history by appearing in every Constitutional Law final exam from now until the end of time.

Gahrie said...

On a purely legal level, the best move would be to pass a resolution instructing Roberts to try the case, right? Then if he declines you sue him.

Sue him? You impeach him. And you might as well take out Thomas and Kavanaugh too. Added bonus Biden gets to replace all three. THEN you hold the show trial.

Ken B said...

Trumpkins here confuse several issues.

The first is whether Trump is guilty. That is irrelevant to whether there can be a trial.

The next is whether there can be a trial. No Trumpkin has presented here a cogent argument either way on the issue. I think the answer is yes, and gave reasons, Inga gave a link to a longer argument. It’s all a matter of inference.

The third is, assuming the trial is constitutional, must Roberts preside. I think this is the point Althouse addresses here, to the confusion of several bumblers, and her conclusion is yes. I agree with this conclusion.

The upshot is, if the Democrats don’t use Roberts it’s a sham and a usurpation. This conclusion should please the Trumpkins but they are too resentful to agree once I point it out.

Mark said...

PLEASE do NOT engage this boob.

You will have destroyed the discussion if you do.

bagoh20 said...

It's the law?

That's a funny concept now days. It has absolutely no meaning, and lawyers did that.

The Godfather said...

If I were advising the Trump defense team, I would demand that the impeachment trial be delayed until the District of Columbia was no longer under military occupation. After all, Biden is now the commander in chief of the military forces occupying DC -- and he is the beneficiary of any ruling that Trump's allegations of impropriety in the 2020 election were invalid. Can you get a fair trial when your adversary is in charge of the military occupation of the court room?

Sebastian said...

"It seems so unfair to have Leahy presiding"

Now they've done it: Althouse gives up cruel neutrality. Dems offend the nice women of America at their peril.

"and it's going to look hyper-partisan to people"

See, if only they hadn't been so foolish, and hadn't picked that a***ole Leahy, it would have looked so much better.

bagoh20 said...

How much are we paying for this circus?

We are smart. Not dumb like people say.

Achilles said...

Ken B said...

Trumpkins here confuse several issues.

The first is whether Trump is guilty. That is irrelevant to whether there can be a trial.

The next is whether there can be a trial. No Trumpkin has presented here a cogent argument either way on the issue. I think the answer is yes, and gave reasons, Inga gave a link to a longer argument. It’s all a matter of inference.


We don't confuse anything. The problem is you are a dishonest piece of shit that puts words into people's mouths.

This issue is specifically mentioned in the Constitution:

Constitutional bans
Excerpt from Article One, Section 9 of the United States Constitution, prohibiting the passing of bills of attainder

The United States Constitution forbids legislative bills of attainder: in federal law under Article I, Section 9, and in state law under Article I, Section 10. The fact that they were banned even under state law reflects the importance that the Framers attached to this issue.

FullMoon said...

Trump should announce plans to run for senate in '22, prez in '24. Really fuck with 'em

Ken B said...

Godfather
That's a very good idea. Make them own it all: the biased judge who votes as a juror, the armed troops, and the open intimidation. It will play well in the bluest districts, but nowhere else.

Achilles said...

Ken B said...

The upshot is, if the Democrats don’t use Roberts it’s a sham and a usurpation. This conclusion should please the Trumpkins but they are too resentful to agree once I point it out.

The upshot is you are just outing yourself again as a dishonest piece of shit who is too stupid to link to actual arguments or points.

You instead sink down into a dream world where you destroy arguments nobody is making and call people "Trumpkins."

It is something slightly above average IQ but still thoroughly mediocre intellects typically do.

Mark said...

The law is clear.
The Constitution is clear.
The facts are clear.

But don't expect the blowhards of the U.S. Senate to pay attention to any of that.

Frankly, the House could have saved itself a lot of time in wording its Article of Impeachment. They could have limited the charge to simply, "He's Trump."

For buffoons like Mitt Romney, and for each of the Democrats -- each and every one of them corrupt bad-faith actors -- who will vote in lockstep against Trump regardless of the law or facts, that's the real charge and the only one that matters to them.

Mark said...

Thanks Achilles. You ass.

Mark said...

Couldn't restrain yourself, could you?

Ken B said...

Achilles, you are my favorite example of a self-licking ice cream cone!

iowan2 said...

It is clear, Roberts called up Schumer and read him the constitution
(paraphrase)"The Chief Justice shall preside at the trial of an impeached President". So Chuck, who is the President, and who are you looking to convict. But before you answer I am obligated to explain to you, if the answer isn't the same name for both questions, I wont be visiting the Senate.

Narr said...

IANAL, or even a Canadian, but even I can see that there IS NO TRIAL WITHOUT THE CHIEF JUSTICE.

Leave aside that Leahy is the hack's hack and always has been, if they proceed it's just more confirmation that the helm is in the hands of self-absorbed nincompoops who make it up as they stumble along.

Narr
And with that, to bed

Roughcoat said...

If the Dems go through with this, they will be made to rue the day. I'm warning you, Dems. Stand down, now, before it's too late. Back off.

Trump's 74 million voters are rehearsing the dance steps of "La Carmagnole," or some equivalent thereof, in ever increasing numbers.

You have been warned.

narciso said...

Dick cheney was more right then he knew then

Phil Beck said...

Over at the Volokh Conspiracy, there are some posts explaining that these two things can both be correct: (1)that the Senate has the constitutional authority to try a former president, but (2) that the Chief Justice can/must preside only over a trial of a current President. The texts of the provisions concerning the Senate's authority and the Chief's responsibility are different in arguably significant respects, and there are sensible reasons to have the Chief preside only at trials of current presidents.

One post argues that the Chief owes it to the country to explain his reason for not presiding. One explanation would be that the Senate lacks jurisdiction to try former presidents. Another explanation would be that, while the Senate may or may not have jurisdiction to try former presidents (and while this itself may be a question for the Senate, rather than the judiciary, to decide), the Chief's role is restricted to trials of current presidents. The post predicted (correctly) that if the Chief declines to participate without explanation, Trump partisans will argue that this means the Chief decided that the Senate lacks jurisdiction, when in fact he may have decided that he has no role whether or not the Senate has jurisdiction.

Ken B said...

Let’s get back to the article. That “ducks” clearly implies Roberts declined. That is very clear. So, is CNN lying? I bet they are. I bet the Democrats did not even ask Roberts. I have no direct evidence, just a belief that CNN lies when they can, and that the senate Democrats cheat when they can.

daskol said...

Can the House impeach and the Senate try George Washington? He owned slaves. We also know where his body is buried.

This has legs Begley. We should not limit the necessary correctives to history books, but bring history to life and put it on trial for the sins that still haunt us. It would be finally cleansing, historic justice. Critical historic justice. Could be a whole new field of law, how we try the dead for their life's sins and cleanse our society. It's more banal than the Hunger Games, but that could be a credibly American dystopia at this point.

AZ Bob said...

Ann, can Trump take a writ to SCOTUS? Would you advise this if you were counseling him? If Robert’s was the swing vote, it is clear how he would vote. It is unlikely there are 17 Republicans to convict so should Trump wait it out?

daskol said...

that was an amazing post. it's missing an equally amazing photoshop.

Achilles said...

Mark said...

Thanks Achilles. You ass.

If Ken B posts some stupid self referential lying bullshit where he makes up a straw man and uses that to call people names I am going to point it out. He is a stupid piece of shit and should be humiliated every time he pulls out his stupid lying crap.

Ken B can't spell attainder, much less describe what a bill of attainder is or why it destroys every argument he makes on this subject.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Biskupic writes that the constitutional text is, "When the President of the United States is impeached, the Chief Justice shall preside," which obscures the argument Roberts-excluders must make. The actual text is "When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside."

Ain't gonna be no trial. They're going to get together and declare him guilty and try to bar him from ever running for office again. No trial, no need for the Chief Justice. Simple.

Greg The Class Traitor said...

That also provides a foundation for an argument that there is now no occasion for a trial of impeachment — impeachment is a procedure for removing the President — and it is an abuse of power for the Senate to try the former President

1: It is an abuse of the US Constitution for the US Senate to attempt to try someone who is no longer in office.
2: Even if it was a legitimate action, they can not keep Trump from running for, or winning, the Presidency.

Here's what the 14th says:
No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State

You can not be an Electoral College voter, and can not run for the House or the Senate, if you've been found to be liable for restriction under Section 3.

You can run for President, and you can win and hold that office.

So every thing about this is stupid and worthless. "Office, civil or military, under the United States" refers to appointed positions, not elected ones

LA_Bob said...

"Trump is out of office. Leave him alone."

My sentiments exactly.

"The argument must be that Trump is no longer the President of the United States, therefore there's no role for the Chief Justice. That also provides a foundation for an argument that there is now no occasion for a trial of impeachment — impeachment is a procedure for removing the President — and it is an abuse of power for the Senate to try the former President, deprived of the safeguard of the Chief Justice as a neutral arbiter."

And I'd almost bet no one has standing to challenge the Senate in court if they proceed with trial.

Assuming this is not just for show, a conviction would mean the Senate can vote to bar Trump from holding a future office. Then I'd guess he'd have standing to challenge the whole charade in Federal court. Any constitutional law professors here (wink wink nod nod) care to comment?

Openidname said...

"Left Bank of the Charles said...

"Trump can still be removed from the Office of Former President . . ."

This suggests an interesting question. If Trump is convicted, would he lose his perks as ex-President? His lifetime Secret Service protection? His pension? His staff? His medical insurance?

President Trump can probably get by without the pension and the insurance.

But withdrawing his Secret Service protection will be an invitation to some psycho (see Antifa mugshots) to murder him. Maybe that's par of what the anti-Trump Senators really want?

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

penidname said...

But withdrawing his Secret Service protection will be an invitation to some psycho (see Antifa mugshots) to murder him. Maybe that's par of what the anti-Trump Senators really want?

Probably, but they don't seem to understand the effect that might have on his supporters.

YH is right, they've all gone insane.

Greg The Class Traitor said...

"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."

The problem for the idiots pushing this is that "Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States" means non-elective office.

https://reason.com/volokh/2021/01/20/is-the-president-an-officer-of-the-united-states-for-purposes-of-section-3-of-the-fourteenth-amendment/

There is a recent Supreme Court opinion discussing the scope of the Constitution's "Officers of the United States"-language. In Free Enter. Fund v. Pub. Co. Accounting Oversight Bd. (2010), Chief Justice Roberts observed that "[t]he people do not vote for the 'Officers of the United States.'" Rather, "officers of the United States" are appointed exclusively pursuant to Article II, Section 2 procedures. It follows that the President, who is an elected official, is not an "officer of the United States."

Mike of Snoqualmie said...

I'm overhearing some schmuck of the DNC/MSM cry on how DJT incited an erection, I mean insurrection on January 6th. To bad for said schmuck, the riot was planned in the weeks leading up to January 6th. Said schmuck probably thinks the Benghazi attack was also incited by a trailer for a movie that mocked Mohammed, may he rot in hell.

iowan2 said...

The next is whether there can be a trial. No Trumpkin has presented here a cogent argument either way on the issue. I think the answer is yes, and gave reasons, Inga gave a link to a longer argument. It’s all a matter of inference.

Who is being Tried. Not the name of a person. But wich OFFICIAL? Secretary of Transportation? Judge to the 5th circuit? Ambassador to French Guiana? President? Vice President? The Constitution identifies officials that fall under the jurisdiction of congress to be impeached. It is a limited slate of officials.

Impeachment is an emergency valve to remove an official, who's misdeeds are recognized by a overwhelming majority of the PEOPLE. Thats why it entails the President, Vice President, and those appointed by the President.

We know it is not the President. Roberts has ruled. He has no choice but to preside at the trial of the President.
There is no way to infer EX President. (President Trump has not been impeached twice. The Article of impeachment was not executed until tonight. Five days after The President's term ended.

That's a cogent explanation. No argument exists.

What I have not heard is a single affirmative explanation of how an impeachment of a President, that is not President, could be impeached.

We impeach an office holder. Period.

DeepRunner said...

Sorta like Kathy Griffin, the left and NeverTrumpers want Trump's head. They believe in their misguided frenzy that this will remove the blot, the stain, the exceeding dark mist of Trump. Rather than just "move on," they want to punish him. Their inability to even play checkers in a deep game of chess is quite likely to boomerang on them good and hard. And old Pat Leahy, who's been in DC almost as long as Muttering Joe, gets to be the face of it. What could possibly go wrong?

stephen cooper said...

If you want to make some quick cash, buy Trump 2024 on the prediction markets now, and buy some more if the price goes down when the rubes think the impeachment trial is gonna be handled well by the Dementia party.

Do you know how old Leahy was 20 years ago? He has been senile since the second Clinton inauguration.

daskol said...

YH is right, they've all gone insane.

They may be old farts and past their prime, and maybe even insane, but I doubt they're behind this. These stuffed shirt motherfuckers are the front men of powerful operations that are are ruthless and probably awful in many ways but not crazy. Crazy like a fox, is the expression. This seems likelier and far more sinister than senescent senators running us into the ground. Like Biden, they got where they are because they're willing to say and do as they're told.

daskol said...

USA: United Senescents of America

daskol said...

No wonder they all hate Tulsi. I mean, I'm sure I'll hate her too eventually, but right now I'm enjoying how many Depends she's wetting.

n.n said...

I've always favored the rights of babies to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness, but, with progress, and liberalization, now I favor the rights of warlocks, too. That said, due process for the hunters, judges, JournoLists, and portesters.

StephenFearby said...

It was reported earlier today by anonymous sources to The Hill that Senate Democrats didn't even ask the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to preside over the trial. Instead, Senator Patrick Leahy, the Senate President Pro Tempore, will handle the Chief Justice's duties.

Now, later in the day, contradicted on the Rachel Maddow show:

Washington Examiner 10:07 PM EST

'Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says the ball was in Chief Justice John Roberts's court when he was offered and declined the chance to preside over former President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial.

The New York Democrat told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow in an interview that aired Monday evening that Roberts is not constitutionally required to preside over the proceedings given the fact that Trump is no longer in office.

"The Constitution says the chief justice presides for a sitting president," Schumer said. "So it was up to John Roberts whether he wanted to preside with a president who's no longer sitting, Trump, and he doesn't want to do it."

The Senate majority leader went on to explain the logic behind the selection of Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont, as the presiding officer.

"So traditionally what has happened is then the next in line is the [Senate president pro tempore]. That's the most senior senator on the majority side, and that's Sen. Leahy, who's a very experienced man and a very fair man," Schumer explained.

When pressed by Maddow, the New York Democrat confirmed that Leahy will, in fact, still be permitted to vote on the results of the trial despite also serving as an impartial arbiter during the proceedings...'

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/schumer-says-roberts-declined-preside-trump-second-impeachment-trial

The next thing out of Schumer's mouth may be that the trial will be indefinitely postponed because of more urgent woke matters.

Hoping that what Roberts actually said to Schumer gets leaked

daskol said...

The contrast between the old farts who enliven this comments section and pathetic demented coots in charge is unfavorable to our pretenders to leadership.

n.n said...

No wonder they all hate Tulsi.

Yes, she's taken steps, albeit baby steps, to walk away from the democratic/dictatorial duality. Trump before her. Reagan before them.

Clayton Hennesey said...

"House Delivers Bill of Attainder, Chief Justice Demurs

Chief Justice Roberts’ absence voids any impeachment."

"Checkmate.

Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States, can run to become the 47th in 2024, should he so choose. Who or what could stop him, and how? Even in Chief Justice Roberts’ most creative moment since a mandate became a tax one cannot imagine how, precisely because it is Roberts’ current absence itself that voids the penalty."

https://www.aleksandreia.com/2021/01/25/house-delivers-bill-of-attainder-chief-justice-demurs/

daskol said...

That 's more or less what Althouse was saying, but in a less domestic terroristy way.

daskol said...

I also agree with Reynolds that this should be dragged out as long as possible, to make these assholes look the stupid assholes they are in TV and to suck the air out of anything else. And then just move on. There isn't much else good on TV anyway, and we need our political entertainments. Beats putting GW on trial.

Amadeus 48 said...

A-hem. If Leahy is the presiding officer, can he vote on matters unless there is a tie? For instance, a motion for a dismissal? With him in the chair, isn't it 50-49 in favor of the GOP? And even if Romney defects, won't Sinema and Manchin at least think about whether they want this to go forward? I can't see Joe Manchin of WEST VIRGINIA voting for this. Trump got 68.6% of the vote in WV.

In the event, I think that Leahy will get to vote because...reasons. Or Murkowski will abstain. That would be a tie. So Romney will have to stand up and be the one that moves this farce forward. I can already see that deer in the headlights look. He isn't going to like this at all.

alanc709 said...

If Trump is not being tried for impeachment as a President, requiring the Chief Justice to preside, how is this not a bill of attainder?

MadTownGuy said...

"Ducks by skipping?!! That's a daffy way to put it."

Ducks...daffy... I see what you did there.

wendybar said...

The Democrats will lie and cheat to get the results they want. You are just noticing this now?? Good. I'm glad you are finally waking up to what the rest of us have been bitching about for 12 years...

wendybar said...

If we’re paying him, we can impeach him. Also, isn’t Trump still claiming he’s the rightful holder of the office of President??

He never took a paycheck...he donated them all. So no impeachment.

RichAndSceptical said...

"I wonder what the anti-Trump Senators really want?"

To destroy the populist movement, just as they destroyed the Tea Party. The big-money donors that control both parties have a one-world agenda and nothing will stand in their way.

Tim said...

Unfortunately, it means that impeachment is a purely political act, and every impeachment thus far has been political. 4 impeachments, 4 acquittals, I see no circumstance in which a President will ever be removed at this point. The founders were optimists, who never foresaw just how political the House and Senate would become. Johnson and Trump, where no crime existed, were pure politics. Even Nixon and Clinton, where crimes existed, were political acts. The Rebublic is failing.

Rusty said...

"So, the idea is that Trump can no longer be a former president. Makes sense."
Since there is no office of 'former president' everything done on his behalf is simply custom I suppose they could strip him of his secret service detail and his presidential pension but it will not erase the fact that he is still a former president.
This thinly veiled attempt to affirm their own status and power simply emphasizes how shallow their status and power actually are. The popular girls club doesn't like ex president Trump. They'll show him!

stevew said...

Tim @6:09AM. This.

If Leahy commits this act that is an abuse of power will he, should he, be impeached?

D.D. Driver said...

The easy out is to say the impeachment is moot, because Trump is out of office. I understand why Trump opponents want to proceed against him anyway, but I don't think it will go very well for them.

You are probably right, but I don't care. You have just defined courage: doing the "right thing" even if it "will not go well for you."

Unless he admits to the American people that he has been lying to them about the "stolen" election: he has to be flushed from ever running for office again. That is the consequence of telling lies that lead to violence and lawlessness.

RMc said...

Mark said...
Sigh. Don't make me repeat myself.


If only. You've been repeating the same nonsense over and over again since you joined this board.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

the modern democrat party is corrupt.

DINKY DAU 45 said...

Constitution – Article I, Section 3, Clause 7 – puts two questions before the Senate when it says, "Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States."


"The Constitution contemplates that the Senate can do two different things when an officer is impeached. It can remove them from office but it can also disqualify them from holding future office,. "The expiration of President Trump's term renders one of those moot, but not both of them."
The removal from office and the lifetime bar are separate and independent of one another. An official can't dodge the move to disqualify him or her from holding future office simply by resigning — as Secretary of War William Belknap did in 1876, knowing he was about to be impeached by the House. The Senate — though it ultimately voted to acquit him — first passed a resolution affirming it had the authority to try him, regardless of his resignation.

The Senate has also traditionally separated a vote to convict an official on impeachment charges from a vote to bar him or her from holding future office. Eight people have been convicted on impeachment charges, but just three have been disqualified from holding future office.

If the Senate ultimately convicts Mr. Trump on the article of impeachment sent by the House, it can take a second vote to bar him from holding future office. While the first vote would require two-thirds of senators — 67 — to convict and remove him, the second vote to bar him from public office would just require a simple majority because the Constitution does not demand a higher threshold. The goal here is to ensure trump can't hold office again by simple majority vote, its pretty see through. Roberts not needed because trump no longer in office.(I believe art 1 sec 6? )In meantime the GRIM REAPER is being seated and his decades of non action and obstruction coming to a stifle.We'll see if Democrats learned lessons of 2009 where Obama believed he could relate with Repubs,,,WRONG.....good movie got to get some more popcorn..the South is on the run and Grant is chasing them..where have I seen this movie before.My wager no conviction,repubs just wont do it,,barred from office 60-40...Meantime Joe pumping up the jams,where the heck is my $1400.00 ? Nearing 80 and need a trip to the Casino!

holdfast said...

“ Taking on a role that is not yours under the Constitution is an abuse of power”

Wouldn’t that actually be an usurpation of power? I was thinking abuse is when you use the power you have for illegal or unconstitutional ends.

Leland said...

Wouldn’t that actually be an usurpation of power?

I would agree, and isn't that actually an act of insurrection?

MayBee said...

Let's see if he is convicted.

And if he is, what if he decides to run for President again anyway? What stops him?

wendybar said...

Cheaters will do anything to get their way....

Greg The Class Traitor said...

DINKY DAU 45 said...

Constitution – Article I, Section 3, Clause 7 – puts two questions before the Senate when it says, "Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States."

1: Constitution – 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.

"Shall" == "must" == "required"

You can not remove someone from office if they aren't in it

2: An "Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States" is an appointed office, not an elected one.

The claimed purpose of this impeachment is to keep Trump from running for President again. But that is not a power impeachment has

"The Constitution contemplates that the Senate can do two different things when an officer is impeached. It can remove them from office but it can also disqualify them from holding future office,. "The expiration of President Trump's term renders one of those moot, but not both of them."

The removal from office and the lifetime bar are separate and independent of one another. An official can't dodge the move to disqualify him or her from holding future office simply by resigning — as Secretary of War William Belknap did in 1876, knowing he was about to be impeached by the House. The Senate — though it ultimately voted to acquit him — first passed a resolution affirming it had the authority to try him, regardless of his resignation.


1: For this to be dispositive, one must first believe that every action taken by the US Senate over its entire existence has been Constitutional.
2: While they managed to get a bare majority to say "yes, we can impeach and try him", he was not convicted, in large part because they could not get more than a bare majority to agree that it was legitimate to impeach someone who was no longer in office.

To use that as "proof" that it's legitimate to impeach and convict someone who is no longer in office? That is to twist logic beyond all reason.

Greg The Class Traitor said...

wendybar said...
Cheaters will do anything to get their way....

Yes, they will.

They will spend 6 months protecting their side's thugs when they violently riot

They will illegally wipe out vote security provisions that could prevent vote fraud

They will commit massive vote fraud to steal and election, and trust that the threat of more riots by their thugs will keep the judges from stopping the fraud

They will import tens of thousands of military into the Capitol as a demonstration of their power to crush anyone who objects to the vote fraud

And they will create an unconstitutional show trial to attempt to keep their victim from running against them again, even though the power of impeachment doesn't block people from running for elective office., and Section 3 of the 14th Amendment doesn't prevent one from running for President.

Yes, WendyBar, you are correct: Democrat cheaters will do anything to get their way

Rusty said...

Blogger D.D. Driver said...
"The easy out is to say the impeachment is moot, because Trump is out of office. I understand why Trump opponents want to proceed against him anyway, but I don't think it will go very well for them.

You are probably right, but I don't care. You have just defined courage: doing the "right thing" even if it "will not go well for y0u"
Another SJW heard from.

mtrobertslaw said...

The democrats' attempt to impeach Donald Trump has the same legal status as would be the case if the democrats' impeached Tucker Carlson. It is a farce. And Chief Justice Roberts is rightly treating it as nonsense on stilts. We are in for some high comedy. Scene one was the bizarre parade of black-masked democrat politicians solemnly marching over to the Senate.

Douglas B. Levene said...

I write only to clarify one point about the role the Supreme Court will likely play in this impeachment mess. I think it is very unlikely that the Court would hear a case brought by Trump against the Senate, seeking an injunction against an impeachment trial. The Court would probably say that’s a political question beyond its jurisdiction. However, the Court would be likely to hear a case brought by Trump against some hapless state official who bars him from the ballot in 2024. In that case, the Court would decide (1) whether the Senate can try a former president under the impeachment clause, and, (2) even if impeachment is legal, whether an impeached and convicted president can be barred from elective office.

Cato said...

What we have here, in short, is a Constitutional crisis: The Senate will try a citizen for impeachment that is has no power to try.

The whole thing is illegal and unconstitutional. Way to go Unify Joe!

Unknown said...

The thing that I don't understand about the argument that former officials can't be tried is how this deals with an official resigning to evade disqualification.

Until what point in the process can an official resign to prevent the possibility of Senate disqualification? If an official resigns literally while the Senate is voting on the question of their conviction--but before the vote is completed--must the vote be abandoned and the Senate has lost the power to disqualify? Surely the Senate's power to disqualify cannot be so easily evaded?

And if Senate would not have to abandon such a vote and could proceed to disqualification, where does one draw the line? That an official can resign and thereby prevent disqualification until just before the conviction vote begins? Until just before the trial begins? Until just before House impeaches?

And if a resigned official can be convicted and disqualified by the Senate, why should one whose term has expired be any different?

Original Mike said...

"If an official resigns literally while the Senate is voting on the question of their conviction--but before the vote is completed--must the vote be abandoned and the Senate has lost the power to disqualify? Surely the Senate's power to disqualify cannot be so easily evaded?"

Of course that's not the current case, so all your dependent "Ifs" are irrelevant.

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Unknown said...
The thing that I don't understand about the argument that former officials can't be tried is how this deals with an official resigning to evade disqualification.

1: The disqualifications only for non-elective offices.
2: If 2/3 of the Senate is willing to convict you, you're not ever going to get confirmed into another office
3: Resigning rather than facing the impeachment conviction is an admission of guilt

So the answer is: you can resign at any point up until they've voted to convict you

Jim at said...

I suppose if the left can make up some bullshit 'Office of the President Elect,' they can make up some bullshit 'Office of the Former President' and convict on those grounds.

They're making up everything else. Why not?

Tyrone Slothrop said...

I'm going to make some predictions here, and I hesitate a bit because I usually end up being wrong, but here goes.

The trial will be held. Trump's attorneys will not offer a defense against the pathetically weak charge of inciting insurrection. Their sole defense, which they will repeat as many times as they are permitted, will be that the impeachment is unconstitutional and an illegal bill of attainder against a private citizen.

Trump will not be convicted. Republicans, even the vacuous Mitt Romney, must have an inkling that a vote for conviction hinging on Republican votes would finish off the Republican Party for good and all. This is a pervasive feeling among the Republicans I know. Many have already left the party.

If, against all odds, Trump is convicted, the case will immediately go to the Supreme Court. I believe Roberts' refusal to preside clearly indicates that he thinks the proceeding is illegitimate. Any conviction would be summarily thrown out, possibly even 9-0.

History books will not be kind to the Democrats of 2015-2021. As more evidence is uncovered it will be impossible to ignore the illegal, vindictive and destructive actions taken by the party to unseat a lawfully elected president. It may take fifty years for this view to predominate, but it will happen.

Godot said...


If Roberts presided over Trumps' Senate trial, he'd be taking a position on the issue -- regardless of its outcome. Assuming conviction, Roberts would have to recuse himself from any review by SCOTUS. He clearly calculated: Ipso facto fukno.









KellyM said...

Good Lord. Sen. Leahy was the keynote speaker at my high school graduation in 1986. He was a colossal bore and an idiot then. Nice to know some things never change.

DavidD said...

If the reason the Chief Justice is the judge is because it would be a conflict of interest for the President’s Vice President to be the judge then why couldn’t Kamala Harris be the judge? What conflict of interest would she have? Why is Sen. Leahy doing it?