Can Trump Be Constitutionally Impeached?

On Tuesday, February 9th, the Senate voted 56-44 that an impeachment trial for Donald Trump was Constitutional. The trial began the next day and continued today.

But is it Constitutional?

Here is what the Constitution says: “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.” (Art. II, Sec. 4)

According the the Constitution, impeachment is for a President or other civil officers. If Trump is no longer President, how can he be impeached?

If Trump is a private citizen, he is protected under Art. I, Sec. 9 of the Constitution, like all other citizens. Jay Sekulow explains this clause to mean, “You can’t impeach a private citizen – legally, that amounts to an unconstitutional bill of attainder.”

Finally, the Chief Justice isn’t the presiding officer in this trial. The Constitution states, “When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside.” (Art. I, Sec. 3)

Clearly, whatever is going on in DC does not meet any of these Constitutional guidelines for impeachment.

So why did all Senate Democrats and 11 Republicans vote that it is Constitutional? This is the question every citizen should be asking–regardless of party.

Whether Trump is guilty of “reason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors” is a subject for another article.