“Now that Donald Trump is a private citizen, the Senate should dismiss the article of impeachment against him for lack of jurisdiction, and according to my research the House has never impeached and the Senate has never tried a former US President. ” — Paul Ebeling
When the Senate’s impeachment trial of former President Trump begins next month Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will not preside.
Instead, Democrat Senator Patrick Leahy (D) the President pro tempore of the Senate, will preside over the mock trial.
The Constitution requires the Chief Justice to preside over an impeachment trial for the President. But Donald Trump, who was impeached on 13 January for his alleged role in inciting a riot at the Capitol is no longer the President.
In a statement released Monday, Senator Leahy wrote that the President pro tempore “has historically presided over Senate impeachment trials of non-Presidents.” He conveniently left out former Presidents and private citizens.
Senator Leahy pledged to adhere to his “constitutional and sworn obligations to administer the trial with fairness.”
Note: Every president elected since Y 1980, with the exception of Mr. Hussein Obama, has been the subject of at least 1 resolution introduced into Congress with the purpose of impeachment.
The Supreme Court had no comment regarding Chief Justice Roberts’ absence from the 2nd impeachment trial.
Long time very savvy political observer, Bruce WD Barren advises that, The Constitution explicitly makes “the President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States can be subject to impeachment and removal. Which officials are to be considered “civil Officers of the United States” for purposes of impeachment is a significant constitutional question that remains unresolved. A private citizen is not a public or a civil officer and thus, can not be able to be impeached. That is probably also why Justice Roberts chose smartly not to preside over the second impeachment proceedings.“
In the past, Congress has shown a willingness to impeach Presidents, federal judges, and Cabinet-level executive branch officials, but a reluctance to impeach Members of Congress and private individuals. A question that has not ever been addressed is whether Congress may impeach and remove subordinate, non-Cabinet level executive branch officials.
Further, that the Constitution does not define “civil Officers of the United States.” Nor do the debates at the Constitutional Convention provide significant evidence of which individuals beyond the President and Vice President the Founders intended to be impeachable.
Have a healthy day, Keep the Faith!