Why are we wasting time when Trump's already out? Plus: NBA-free zone. Good luck to Portman
By Gary Abernathy
It’s clearly unconstitutional to have an impeachment trial for a president who can’t be removed from office
I still don’t understand why the U.S. Senate is moving forward with an impeachment trial for former president Donald Trump. It’s clearly unconstitutional – the only penalty for conviction is removal from office. How can you remove someone from an office he doesn’t hold? And the decision to have Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy preside over it just diminishes it further.
Of course, it’s really all about trying to make Trump ineligible to run again, which is a separate vote that can be taken if a two-thirds vote to convict is first achieved.
As noted constitutional scholar Alan Dershowitz points out, Article I Section 3 of the Constitution reads: “Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.”
Dershowitz points out that the article references removal and disqualification—not or disqualification. In other words, if someone can’t be removed, they also can’t move on to “part two,” disqualification. Read more here.
Still not watching the NBA, and don’t plan to start again
Despite being a lifelong fan – sometimes a fanatic – I stopped watching the NBA after players began kneeling during the National Anthem. I haven’t changed my position, and frankly, it’s been just fine, thank you. The NBA has become one of the most far left political organizations in the world. It doesn’t need me, and I’m happy to report that I don’t need it.
Good luck to Sen. Rob Portman, a statesman in Congress
Finally, a word about my former boss, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, and his decision to call it a day after his term ends.
I haven’t always agreed with his choices in Congress, but I admire him as a person. Portman is truly one of the statesmen in the Senate, and someone who has earned respect from both sides of the aisle. He’ll stay involved in public life. It will be interesting how he votes on the Trump impeachment trial, if it comes to a vote. I’ve said that, for me, Trump’s actions on Jan. 6 disqualified him from further holding public office. But I wouldn’t support impeaching him or legally prohibiting him from running again. A censure resolution would make more sense.
Anyway, best of luck to Senator Portman, and God bless him and his family. I have a piece coming up in the Washington Post with more on Portman and speculation about his successor.