If a former President Trump can be impeached, can former President Obama be impeached too?

This is a difficult constitutional question. Some says former President Trump can be impeached for his action leading to the mob entering the congressional buildings--even though he is a former President; while the Constitution talk of impeachment for the sitting President.

So the question: with all the new released classified documents that tie former President Obama to illegal activities and spying on Trump's 2016 campaign, could those be basis for "impeaching Obama" as a private citizen. I hope it does not go that far.

Comments

  • This is not a difficult question at all, and the answer is unequivocal. No. And the answer depends solely on the word "impeach."

    Contrary to the assertions of the Trumpists in Congress and elsewhere, former President Trump is NOT being "impeached" in the Senate. Former President Trump was in fact impeached by the House of Representatives while he was still the sitting President. Impeachment is a function of the House of Representatives, according to the Constitution, and IMHO had the House of Representatives waited until January 21, 2021 to vote on a Bill of Impeachment it would have failed, because on January 21, 2021 Trump was no longer a federal official. But they didn't wait until he left office to impeach him. The Bill of Impeachment was adopted by the House (with 10 Republican votes!) during Trump's presidency. He was still the sitting President.

    The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

    Art. I, Sec. 2, Cl. 5.

    You confuse impeachment with conviction and removal. The impeached official can only be "removed from Office" after conviction by the Senate. Clearly Trump can no longer be removed from office, because he tucked his tail between his legs and slinked away to his club in Florida before Biden was sworn in. He did, however, grant a last minute pardon to Judge Jeanine's ex-husband as he crawled back under his rock.

    The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

    Const., Art. 2, Sec. 4.

    Section 4 is a "present tense" clause.

    Notice that removal from office can only occur following conviction. And conviction by the Senate cannot occur until the House acts, and the House must act while the person being impeached is still an active federal official.

    So your question, in order to be a proper question, should be "[c]an former President Trump be tried on the Bill of Impeachment passed in the House while he was still President, even though he is no longer a sitting President." And the answer to that is of course yes. The Belknap Supreme Court case establishes that. Look it up.

    The reason this trial is necessary, in case you care, Marc, is so that if he is convicted the Senate can vote on whether he can be barred from ever holding a position of trust and honor in the United States again.

    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.

    Const., Art. 1, Sec. 3, Cl. 7.

    So if the Senate convicts, it can vote, by a majority vote, to disqualify Trump from holding any federal office in the future. BTW, regardless he can be charged, tried, and convicted of any federal or state crimes he may have committed, even if he is not convicted on impeachment by the Senate.

    Obama cannot be impeached because he left office more than four years ago and thus is no longer a federal official. The impeachment clause (not the provisions for conviction and removal) applies only to current, and not former, federal officials.

    BTW, Marc, you are being a foolish Trumpist once again, listening only to one source of news. FYI, the Obama administration did not "spy" on the Trump campaign. That is made up bullshit, plain and simple. And the Obama administration did not engage in illegal activities. That is also right wing internet bullshit. Maybe you can provide proof? When pigs fly!

    Keep on watching and reading your bullshit Marc, if it pleases you. But remember that repeating it merely makes you out for the fool you are.
  • Marc:

    Here is a website (participatory forum) you might enjoy. It is extremely right wing, allows comments containing lies and disinformation, is run by a retired Army Colonel who hates the left wing of politics, and as far as I can tell only has two Democrats who ever make comments on it. Give it a try. I'm sure you like it.

    https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/
  • Marc: Since I pride myself on acknowledging my mistakes when I make them, I readily admit that I was wrong when I said that Obama could not be impeached because he was out of office. I thought the Belknap case stood for the proposition that a federal officer could only be impeached if he or she were still in office, when in fact the opposite is true. Belknap stands for the proposition that the House can impeach, and the Senate can try, a federal officeholder who resigns his or her position prior to the passage of Articles of Impeachment by the House.

    Belknap was Secretary of War during Grant's presidency, and was heavily involved in theft and bribery. The House was debating Articles of Impeachment, when Belknap ran to the White House and submitted his resignation to Grant, thereafter breaking into tears. Grant accepted his resignation shortly after 10:00 AM. The House passed Articles of Impeachment at 11:00 AM, after Belknap's resignation had been accepted by Grant. The Articles were sent to the Senate, which conducted a trial, where a majority of the Senate voted to convict, but not the required 2/3 majority needed for a conviction. So Belknap was both impeached and tried by the Senate after he was no longer in federal service.

    https://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/minute
    War_Secretarys_Impeachment_Trial.htm

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_W._Belknap

    So, yes, Obama can be impeached under the Belknap precedent even though he is no longer in federal service.

    All that would require is a Republican majority in the House of Representatives, and evidence of High Crimes and Misdemeanors. The former is unlikely, and proof of the latter is absent. The Trump administration was made up of proven criminals, not the Obama administration. And even if Republicans constituted a majority of the House, and voted Articles of Impeachment, a 2/3 majority of the Senate would have to vote to convict. I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for that to happen.

    Other than that error, now admitted, the rest of my comment is accurate as far as I can tell.
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