(FreedomJournal)- Democrats in the House of Representatives are pushing forward with more articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.
At least one prominent constitutional law scholar thinks those efforts are futile, though.
Alan Dershowitz, a professor emeritus at Harvard Law School, said the impeachment of the president will end up providing a “loaded weapon” to both Republicans and Democrats to use whenever they see fit in the future.
He doesn’t believe that Trump will face a Senate trial due to the fact that he’ll likely be out of office by the time the upper chamber receives the case. As he said on Fox News on Sunday morning:
“It will not go to trial. All the Democrats can do is impeach the president in the House of Representatives. For that, all you need is a majority vote. You don’t have to take evidence, there are no lawyers involved.
“But the case cannot come to trial in the Senate because the Senate has rules, and the rules would not allow the case to come to trial until — according to the majority leader — until 1 p.m. on January 20, one hour after President Trump leaves office.”
Dershowitz further explained that “the Constitution specifically says the president shall be removed from office upon impeachment.” Because the language doesn’t say “the former president,” the Senate’s “jurisdiction is limited to a sitting president.”
This interpretation of Constitutional law as it relates to impeachment is one that is likely to be debated strongly once the House formally impeaches the president — which seems like a formality at this point.
On Monday, the House formally introduced one article of impeachment against Trump, citing the president’s alleged interference in the presidential election with his urging to “find” votes in Georgia for him to win. It also cites his role in last week’s riot at the U.S. Capitol building.
The resolution states:
“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.”
The article further states the 14th Amendment to the Constitution “prohibits any person who has ‘engaged in insurrection or rebellion against’ the United States” from holding political office.
It’s likely the House will vote, and approve of, the article of impeachment this week. The next step would be to send it over to the Senate for a full trial, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that won’t happen before the January 20 inauguration of Democrat Joe Biden.
That’s where Dershowitz said Constitutional law will ban the trial from happening. Still, there will be a new majority leader in the Senate after January 20, so it’s likely the new Democrat-led upper chamber will try to push ahead with it anyway.
Dershowitz further stated that impeaching Trump — or any president — for what he says would set a very bad precedent that the framers of the Constitution didn’t intend. He explained:
“It would lie around like a loaded weapon ready to be used by either part against the other party, and that’s not what impeachment or the 25th Amendment were intended to be.”