After self-proclaimed Trump supporters stormed the capital January 6th, the second impeachment trial began February 9 for former President Donald Trump.
Trump has been accused of treason for inciting his supporters to violence at his “Save America” rally. One such example of this incitement to violence was when Trump said to “fight like hell or you’re not going to have a country anymore.”
However, earlier in the same speech, Trump also said to “peacefully and patriotically make voices heard.”
Regardless of the truth of the matter, it is wrong to impeach any former president who does not currently hold an office.
The constitutional purpose of impeachment is solely to remove officials from office.
“The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment,” Article 2 Section 4 of the Constitution states.
To simply remove Trump from office through impeachment, with which he has no office to be removed from, would technically be pointless in regard to the removal from office. In fact, it could even be considered as a rather petty move. Even more so, it would be considered a slap in the face to Trump who had a rather bitter election defeat.
However, impeachment is not without consequence.
While all impeachment can physically do is remove an official from office, it has the ability to prevent a former president from running for office again.
Article 1 Section 3 of the Constitution states that those who have been impeached are “disqualifi[ed] to hold and enjoy any Office of honor.”
Trump, therefore, could not be removed from an office he does not hold, but can be prevented from running for president again.
This should concern Americans.
On one hand, impeachment could prevent corrupt politicians from being able to run a second term as president even when they are out of office. However, impeachment could also be used by equally corrupt politicians as a new political tactic for lawmakers to prevent their opponents from running for office.
This political tactic could lead to corruption and a lack of democracy in our government.
A single political party could even have too much, if not complete control in the government without proper preventative measures.
Furthermore, this seemingly political trial of impeachment is coming out of taxpayers’ pockets yet again.
The National Interest stated that during Trump’s last impeachment, “House Democrats spent at least $3 million of taxpayers’ money… according to Heritage Foundation research”.
Is it really worth taking possibly millions of dollars from taxpayers yet again simply to prevent Trump from running for president a second time or to prove a political point?
Keep in mind, Trump hasn’t even gone to trial solely for treason, which will undoubtedly cost taxpayers quite a bit of money.
The answer is, it shouldn’t be. To use taxpayer money as a political stunt and to insult Trump is a waste of taxpayer money. There also should be no need to prevent Trump from running for office unless there is concern that Trump has a chance to win the next election.
However, if Trump is in fact found guilty of treason in the court of law, he would “be incapable of holding any office under the United States” by Title 18 U.S. Code §2383.
Either this impeachment is yet another witch hunt that wastes taxpayers’ money or a necessary evil to prevent a treasonous orange man from holding office. Personally, I believe it’s the former.