Some Democrats have floated the possibility of holding off on filing Impeachment charges against President Trump until long after he leaves office. In an effort not to distract from soon-to-be President Biden’s first 100 days in office some Democrats want to wait over three months before filing articles of impeachment against Trump. However, former federal judge Michael Luttig saying that holding an impeachment trial after Trump has left office is unconstitutional.
House Majority Whip James Clyburn was the first Democrat to tout the idea of waiting to hold the trial until after Biden’s first 100 days. Clyburn suggested that House Democrats should wait to hold a vote in the House on the article of impeachment to make way for the incoming Biden agenda before the Senate proceeds with the impeachment trial.
However, Luttig who previously served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit saying Clyburn’s idea is unconstitutional.
The Daily Wire reports:
Once Trump’s term ends on Jan. 20, Congress loses its constitutional authority to continue impeachment proceedings against him — even if the House has already approved articles of impeachment.
Therefore, if the House of Representatives were to impeach the president before he leaves office, the Senate could not thereafter convict the former president and disqualify him under the Constitution from future public office.
The reason for this is found in the Constitution itself. Trump would no longer be incumbent in the Office of the President at the time of the delayed Senate proceeding and would no longer be subject to “impeachment conviction” by the Senate, under the Constitution’s Impeachment Clauses. Which is to say that the Senate’s only power under the Constitution is to convict — or not — an incumbent president.
The House will vote today on the article of impeachment against Trump that will likely head to the Senate. However, the Senate is not scheduled to reconvene until Jan. 19, the day before Biden’s inauguration.