top of page

The Constitutionality of Trump's Second Impeachment

On Jan. 13 the U.S House of Representatives impeached former President Donald Trump, making him the first president to be impeached twice.

House Democrats along with ten House Republicans joined to charge Trump with "incitement of insurrection" for his leading role in the capitol riots on Jan. 6.

Nonetheless, on Feb. 13, Trump was acquitted by the U.S Senate.

Convinced the whole impeachment had been another Democratic "witch hunt," most Republican members of Congress rejoiced, Trump-fans celebrated, and Trump's son, Eric, insensitively gloated with his tweet, "2-0", hinting that Trump had beat his impeachment trial twice.

Regardless, a constitutional contention still hangs in the air: Was Trump's post-presidency impeachement constitutional?

At his trial, the Senate provided the first four hours for debate on the constitutionality of the impeachment.

In that time, Republicans stated how the Senate could not try him because the Constitution does not allow a former president to stand trial for impeachment.

Democrats, on the other hand, argued how a president can indeed be put on trial for offenses, no matter when the trial is held. Othwerise "there would be no way to hold to account a president who commits wrongdoing in the final weeks of a term," writes Washington correspondent of the New York Times, Michael S. Schmidt.

While the constitutionality of the trial may seem muddy, it's not; most experts concur that an impeachment after an official has left office is permissable, says Brian Kalt, a law professor at Michigan State Univeristy and a leading impeachement scholar.

Although his acquital is old news, it reaffirms a typical Trump story: ever since he was a young man he's been able to squirm out of legal trouble and the repercussions of his shady misdoings. Hopefully, justice will prevail next time.

Work Cited


bottom of page