The ‘Late Impeachment’ Question

President Trump disembarks from a helicopter in Harlingen, Texas, January 12, 2021. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)
Precedent and purpose cut against the argument that the Constitution bars lawmakers from holding an impeachment trial after Trump leaves office.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE M ichael Luttig is an estimable conservative legal thinker who used to be a federal judge. He reportedly helped to persuade Vice President Mike Pence that Pence did not have the power to overturn the results of the presidential election, and thus played a role in protecting the Constitution over the last few weeks. Now he is in the Washington Post arguing that protecting the Constitution also requires abandoning the idea of holding an impeachment trial after President Trump has left office. It’s not a frivolous case, but the proponents of “late impeachment” (including my colleague Dan McLaughlin) have a better

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Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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