House Managers’ Case for the Impeachment Trial

Ben Kleinerman and I participated in an interesting roundtable/debate with John Yoo on the upcoming impeachment trial, sponsored by the Constitutional Studies program at Notre Dame and James Madison’s Montpelier in Virginia. It was recorded by Notre Dame and should be posted soon. John Yoo argued that the Article for inciting insurrection was crafted too narrowly and legalistically (read it yourself and you will see that it is a broad political charge of gross abuse of office beginning with events well before January 6, and I argue also bolstered by evidence of dereliction of duty on January 6) and Yoo also argued that the Constitution does not authorize Trials of a president for impeachment after the president leaves office. This point has received a great deal of attention in the press because a main punishment for impeachment is removal from office. The president can also be disqualified from future office, according to the Constitution. Yoo attempted to make an argument mainly based on sources of original intent. Readers of The Constitutionalist who were able to watch the session or see a recording of it will be surprised, perhaps, to discover that the House Managers anticipated all of Yoo’s observations and provide a truly devastating rebuttal. See particularly the third part of the long brief that begins on page 48. The entire brief is exceptionally well done and well worth taking the time to read.

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