‘New Constitutional Terrain’: Experts Mixed on Constitutionality of Trump Second Impeachment Trial | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

‘New Constitutional Terrain’: Experts Mixed on Constitutionality of Trump Second Impeachment Trial

The upcoming Senate impeachment trial against former President Donald Trump is a first-of-its-kind proceeding and legal scholars have expressed mixed opinions about its constitutionality.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) raised a point of order on the Senate floor earlier this week, forcing the chamber to take a stance on the constitutionality of the proceedings. Although it returned a 55-45 vote, meaning the trial will go ahead, it also revealed nearly half of the chamber is of the view the proceedings are unconstitutional.

Many scholars who are arguing that the trial is unconstitutional are relying on an interpretation of Article II, Section 4, of the U.S. Constitution which states, “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.”

According to their reading of the text, these scholars say impeachment is for current officeholders, and since Trump had already left office, the Senate’s jurisdiction—or authority—to hold an impeachment trial expired on Jan. 20, when his term came to a close.

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