Trump’s impeachment trial can happen after he leaves office, UofL law expert explains

Trump’s impeachment trial can happen after he leaves office, UofL law expert explains

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Donald Trump is the first president in United States history to be impeached twice after the House of Representatives voted 232 to 197 in favor of impeachment Wednesday.

Trump faces charges of inciting violence leading up to the Capitol riots last week, which left five dead and dozens injured.

Louisville constitutional law expert Sam Marcosson discussed with WAVE 3 News what the impeachment process means moving forward as Trump has less than two weeks left in office before Joe Biden becomes president.

The Senate won’t be back in session until Jan. 19 -- that’s a day before Biden’s inauguration. The Senate trial for Trump will begin after Biden is sworn into office.

“It becomes almost certain that Donald Trump will challenge the authority of the Senate to try him,” Marcosson told WAVE 3 News.

Marcosson, a University of Louisville professor, says some experts believe an impeachment cannot be carried out once the individual has left office, but he disagrees.

“I think you can have the trial and even impeachment for the very reason that the purpose can be to make sure that the person is no longer eligible to hold office again,” he explained.

Even though Trump will have left office by the time the trial starts, Marcosson said the repercussions of a conviction by the Senate would linger.

If convicted, he said, Trump would lose his pension and other former presidential perks.

Marcosson believes that confidence in government needs to be restored.

“It seems to me that this process be carried out and seeing the inauguration of President-elect Biden on the 20th, our steps towards restoring confidence, that the system does work,” he said.

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