I think the writer of the recent letter about revengeful democrats is way off base. First, we will never know of every single discussion that the Founders had when discussing the writing of the Constitution because none of it was recorded. We, including Professor Vile, only have the Federalist papers to rely on. Be that as it may, we do have the written Constitution and that is the only document we must rely on concerning impeachments.
The constitution provides that “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.” It also provides that “The Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments.”
In Trump’s case, he was impeached while in office. My take on that is that once impeached, the Senate acquired jurisdiction over Trump and was obligated to try him. The reason he was not tried when in office is that Mitch refused to call the Senate back into session to conduct the trial. But the Senate did not lose jurisdiction over him once he left office. I compare that to criminal and civil cases which also have statutes of limitation. A court acquires jurisdiction over defendants if they are indicted or sued before the statutes run. Each can be tried anytime after the statutes run.
Since Trump was tried after he left office, if convicted, the only punishment available was the disqualification to hold office in the future. Mitch and his other Republican cronies were wrong when they said that they would not convict because the Senate had no jurisdiction to try him. In truth and in fact, they were just afraid to incur the wrath of Trump and his supporters. They compromised their oath to protect, preserve and defend the Constitution in favor preserving their own political careers. That is what was gross. This had nothing to do with destroying the presidency. It was the opposite. It was to make sure that future occupants of the office adhere to the oath that they take to “… faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
I think Trump chose the wrong option.Which is best, to be disqualified from holding a future federal office, or run the risk of criminal proceedings? Remember, Barr is no longer Attorney General, and he (Trump) is still subject to indictment.
Melchor Chavez, Harlingen