Breaking with GOP, top conservative lawyer says Trump can stand trial

By | February 7, 2021

The New York Times reports:

One of Washington’s leading conservative constitutional lawyers publicly broke on Sunday with the main Republican argument against convicting former President Donald J. Trump in his impeachment trial, asserting that an ex-president can indeed be tried for high crimes and misdemeanors.

In an opinion piece posted on The Wall Street Journal’s website, the lawyer, Charles J. Cooper, who is closely allied with top Republicans in Congress, dismissed as illogical the claim that it is unconstitutional to hold an impeachment trial for a former president. The piece came two days before the Senate was set to start the proceeding, in which Mr. Trump is charged with “incitement of insurrection” in connection with the deadly assault on the Capitol by his supporters on Jan. 6.

Since the rampage, Republicans have made little effort to excuse Mr. Trump’s conduct, but have coalesced behind the legal argument about constitutionality as their rationale for why he should not be tried, much less convicted. Their theory is that because the Constitution’s penalty for an impeachment conviction is removal from office, it was never intended to apply to a former president, who is no longer in office. [Continue reading…]

ABC News reports:

With his impeachment trial set to begin this week, a narrow majority of Americans say they support the Senate convicting former President Donald Trump and barring him from holding federal office again, according to a new ABC News/Ipsos poll released Sunday.

Compared to public attitudes in the early days of his first impeachment trial, support for the Senate convicting Trump is higher now. In an ABC News/Washington Post poll published in late January 2020, when the first trial was ongoing but before senators had voted, 47% of Americans said the Senate should vote to remove Trump from office and 49% said he should not be removed.

But in this latest poll, 56% of Americans say Trump should be convicted and barred from holding office again, and 43% say he should not be. The new poll was conducted by Ipsos in partnership with ABC News using Ipsos’ KnowledgePanel. [Continue reading…]

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