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Brian Miller
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 28 July 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 28196
Posted: 11 February 2021 at 11:29am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Could a civil case be made against him, a la O.J.?

********

Im not sure if a civil case could be brought forth, but a criminal case
certainly could. An impeachment trial is something held outside of the
regular criminal justice system. An article of impeachment, while being
similar to it, is not a criminal indictment. The criminal charges couldnt
be brought when it happened, but now that hes out of office, it could
happen. But it probably wont.
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Brad Wilders
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 15 December 2008
Posts: 158
Posted: 11 February 2021 at 11:40am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

The better argument would be impeachment, even if it resulted in an acquittal, does not bar a criminal prosecution, I think.  Particularly to the textual jurist who might otherwise be persuaded by the strict reading of Section 3.  After all, the double jeopardy clause of the Fifth Amendment prohibits putting "any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb," and impeachment exposes Trump to neither.

But, to answer JB's other question, certainly a civil suit brought by someone harmed at the riots against Trump would not be barred since the double jeopardy clause does not apply to subsequent civil proceedings.
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David Allen Perrin
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 15 April 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 3325
Posted: 11 February 2021 at 12:47pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Ive said it before and Ill say it again.  If Donald Trump hadnt been born wealthy....he would be a common thug purse snatcher preying upon old ladies in the park and jumping lone women on the street.  Hed be a mugger, purse snatcher and rapist. And his victims would all be the vulnerable and those who could not fight back.

Edited by David Allen Perrin on 11 February 2021 at 12:48pm
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John Byrne

Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 123892
Posted: 11 February 2021 at 12:51pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Hed be a mugger, purse snatcher and rapist.

Heinous as those crimes are, they require a certain will to act that I don't think Trump possesses.

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Rebecca Jansen
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 12 February 2018
Location: Canada
Posts: 2632
Posted: 11 February 2021 at 1:10pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

If action can't be taken by the senate against a no longer sitting president, then basically the last two months or so of any presidency is an above the law ticket to do anything and not be held accountable. Really stupid, especially of people who were hiding in fear from the people Trump "peacefully" incited after naming the day and place. Again, I don't see what they are getting for all the destruction to their country and party, save the theoretical non-aborted fetus off somewhere out there (whom they will do nothing ever again to help once born), whoopee!

You either have some remnant of this Republican party, or a replacement for it; that is what a democracy requires. Either extreme talking of ultimate destruction seems backwards and childish to me. Any one party in total control appeals to me not at all. Obviously this Republican party does not recognize rules, but if they stop recognizing law itself... hooo-boy. Not at all surprised they'd be hugging and kissing and almost fondling the constitution all these recent years only to rip it to shreds without a moment's hesitation (aka grossly misreading and twisting the thing) all for the sake of some dolt on 'their team'. They've prominently displayed autographed photos of Reagan while advocating total opposites of things he actually said or did do, posed with bibles and even literally hugged and kissed flags. Ewwww. :^(
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Steven Brake
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 01 January 2016
Posts: 386
Posted: 11 February 2021 at 2:04pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Going back to my previous post, if the first trial doesn't result in a conviction, and then a second trial is held, or even proposed, won't that really inflame Trump's supporters with the notion that the "deep state" are determined to bring him down at any cost?
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John Wickett
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 12 July 2016
Location: United States
Posts: 184
Posted: 11 February 2021 at 9:34pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Personally, I don't believe it is constitutional to try a president after he has left office.  Article 1 says "Judgement in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification..."  The key word here is "and."  It seems clear these are remedies that are intended to be imposed against a sitting president.  If the founding fathers intended for impeachment to also apply to former officials, the text would say "removal or disqualification."  

The trial managers (and Rebecca Jansen above) made a strong argument that this interpretation would create a "January exception" but I disagree.  

Presidents are impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors.  So even though an impeachment is not a criminal proceeding, an impeachable offense is by definition a crime.  Consequently, after leaving office a former president could be criminally charged for any act that rightfully would give rise to an impeachment.  Certainly anything that happens in the last month of a presidency would be well within the relevant statute of limitations.  

Also, as pointed out by others, the constitutional protection against double jeopardy does not prevent a person who has been criminally charged from being sued in a civil case (even if the criminal charge ultimately failed).  So there is plenty of opportunity for a former president to be held accountable.
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Peter Martin
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 17 March 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 13420
Posted: 11 February 2021 at 9:59pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

John Wickett, it is clear that impeachment was intended by the framers of the constitution as a means of the nation holding public persons to account for their conduct.

As such, it is a nonsensical suggestion that this means of holding to account should expire as soon as the public person stops holding office.

Besides, if this was the case, then the House could have held back for the contingency of Trump holding office again, in which case (according to your own argument) if it would suddenly become constitutional.

Regardless, the language in which the constitution is drafted does not back your argument -- it is an expression of constraint on the powers of judgment of the Senate. Those powers do not extend further than to removal from office, nor do they extend further than to disqualify from office. There is no magic combination required.

Edited to correct a wonky spelling of 'judgment'


Edited by Peter Martin on 11 February 2021 at 10:03pm
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Michael Roberts
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 20 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 13759
Posted: 11 February 2021 at 10:16pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Personally, I don't believe it is constitutional to try a president after he has left office.  Article 1 says "Judgement in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification..."  The key word here is "and."  It seems clear these are remedies that are intended to be imposed against a sitting president.  If the founding fathers intended for impeachment to also apply to former officials, the text would say "removal or disqualification."  

-------

This argument makes no sense.

Article 1 sets the limits of consequences of impeachment. There are two penalties that could be inflicted. Removal from office and disqualification. Placing an "or" there would mean Congress could do one or the other. Either they could remove an official from office or they could disqualify them.

Article 2 makes it clear that an official is to be removed.


 QUOTE:
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.

If the Founding Fathers had put an "or" there, then a sitting President that had been convicted could never be disqualified, because they had already been removed. So it's a stretch to say that because the Founders didn't put an "or" there, that they didn't mean the penalties to apply to former officials.
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Peter Martin
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 17 March 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 13420
Posted: 11 February 2021 at 10:26pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Michael, you're applying too much logic to this when blind tribalism is the current zeitgeist.

Edited to correct my eedjits spelling from your to you're


Edited by Peter Martin on 11 February 2021 at 10:27pm
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John Wickett
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 12 July 2016
Location: United States
Posts: 184
Posted: 11 February 2021 at 10:51pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

"If the Founding Fathers had put an "or" there, then a sitting President that had been convicted could never be disqualified, because they had already been removed."

No.  As I read Article 1, a president who is removed from office is also disqualified from holding office again.  Both penalties are applied.  

If impeachment applied to former presidents, then obviously disqualification would be the only penalty.  However, the constitution does not make that distinction. 

"the framers of the constitution as a means of the nation holding public persons to account for their conduct."  

Agreed.  But once a president leaves office he is no longer a public person.  That is why upon leaving office the president ceases to be shielded from criminal prosecution.  

So in my opinion impeachment is the appropriate remedy to apply against a sitting public official, and charging them with a crime or suing them is the appropriate remedy after they leave office.
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Peter Martin
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 17 March 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 13420
Posted: 11 February 2021 at 11:21pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Agreed.  But once a president leaves office he is no longer a public person.  That is why upon leaving office the president ceases to be shielded from criminal prosecution.
-----------------------------------------------------
Yes, they are no longer a public person. It does not mean, however, that they were not previously a public person, nor that they should be held unaccountable for their actions as such.

Put simply: the threat of impeachment is meant to keep public figures honest. It is, in fact, the ONLY tool in the constitution for keeping a bad president in check.

The idea that this sole stick becomes unavailable for beating if the bad egg does his bad stuff in the last few weeks of office makes no sense.

Furthermore, the constitution makes specific provision for disqualifying such bad eggs from future office. If they intended that disqualification could not be applied in the case of a one-term president who had done wrong in his one term, but hoped to run again, wouldn't they have said so? Were they too stupid to have thought of this contingency? I like to think these intelligent men of state did in fact consider many angles and chose their language carefully. As opposed to just drafting simple terminology and leaving out some crucial bits unthinkingly.


Edited by Peter Martin on 11 February 2021 at 11:22pm
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