The article of impeachment before the Senate is an unconstitutional act of political vengeance. This appalling abuse of the Constitution will only serve to divide our nation further at a time when we should be coming together to tackle the ongoing pandemic and other issues of national importance.
House Democrats and the left engaged in a non-stop smear campaign against President Donald Trump even before he stepped foot into office, culminating in this phony impeachment. The Senate should immediately reject this unconstitutional proceeding.
Not only is this impeachment case wrong on the facts, no matter how much heat and emotion is injected by the 45th president’s opposition, it is blatantly unconstitutional.
In effect, Congress would be claiming the right to disqualify a private citizen, no longer a government official, from running for public office. This would transform the solemn impeachment process into a mechanism for asserting congressional control over which private citizens are and are not allowed to run for president.
The Constitution of the United States is meant to be interpreted as it is written, meaning that every word and punctuation matters. The constitutional provision, cited in the article of impeachment, requires that a person actually hold office to be impeached. Since the 45th President is no longer “president,” the clause, “shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for…,” is impossible for the Senate to accomplish, and thus the current proceeding before the Senate is void ab initio as a legal nullity that runs patently contrary to the plain language of the Constitution.
In fact, Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution states, “judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy an office of honor…” Since removal from office by the Senate of the president is a condition precedent which must occur before, and jointly with, “disqualification” to hold future office, the fact that the Senate presently is unable to remove from office the 45th president, whose term has expired, means that the article of impeachment is irrelevant to any matter before the Senate.
In short, this unprecedented effort is not about Democrats opposing political violence — it is about Democrats trying to disqualify their political opposition. It is “cancel culture” on a constitutional level. History will record this shameful effort as a deliberate attempt by the Democrat Party to smear, censor and cancel not just Trump, but the 75 million Americans who voted for him.
Now is not the time for such a campaign of retribution — it is the time for unity and healing and focusing on the interests of the whole nation. We should all be seeking to cool temperatures, calm passions and rise above partisan lines. The Senate should reject this divisive and unconstitutional effort and allow the nation to move forward.
Justin Clark is Senior Counsel to the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump