To the editor,
Our representatives in Congress are obtuse. Each of them took an oath to uphold our Constitution. Each can read. Copies of the Constitution are ubiquitously available. The Constitution spells out the requirements for impeachment (akin to indictment) and subsequent trial of a president. If at any point these requirements are not met either an impeachment or a trial would be unconstitutional. If the requirements for impeachment are met and a president is impeached, a trial may go forward only if the constitutional requirements for trial are met. If not, the matter is moot, and a trial would be unconstitutional. Thus, any representative advocating a trial breaks his/her oath.
President Trump was impeached. His term of office ended before a trial, whereupon he became a civilian and could no longer be tried pursuant to the Constitution. The Senate has the full power to try an impeachment. Article I, Section 3 states “When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside.” Chief Justice Roberts refused to preside because he knows a trial would be unconstitutional.
Article I, Section 3 says that “Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office . . .” One not in office cannot be removed from office. A trial now would be a sham. Although some argue that Trump could still be disqualified to hold further office, the punishment allowed is removal AND disqualification, not one OR the other.