Lindsey Graham has declared the unconstitutionality of the Impeachment Trial in the Senate of The Previous Occupant. Well thank you Lindsey. How ever would we have known had you not told us?
Here’s the thing. It is. It is constitutional for the Senate to hold the trial after the individual being tried leaves office. The Senate has done it before in 1876, following the Impeachment in the House of Secretary of War, William W. Belknap, who was tried and acquitted even after abruptly resigning his office.
So, what’s similar here? The Previous Occupant is no longer President, though some would argue he never performed the job even while he was President. Belknap abruptly resigned in an attempt to forestall the impeachment proceedings. It didn’t work. The Senate tried him anyway. The Previous Occupant’s term expired at Noon on January 20th because he was the loser of the November 2020 election, in spite of all the brouhaha he created, including election tampering, inciting insurrection, fomenting sedition, and oh yeah, failing to concede.
Next week, Nancy Pelosi will deliver the Impeachment Article to the Senate and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says the trial will start on Tuesday, February 9th. So, the Senate has determined it is worth the trial, and it will be held. On the line here is obviously not removal. Thankfully The Previous Occupant is, well, previous. But, should he be convicted, the Senate would then vote to bar him from ever again holding public office. Will House Managers find 17 Senators to convict? As the Magic 8 Ball says: “Reply hazy. Ask again later.”