The Washington Post reports that famed nihilistic opportunist and former Senate Majority
Coward Leader Mitch McConnell has been circulating a memo for how a second Trump impeachment trial might proceed, if it were to happen.
The Senate is not scheduled to meet again until January 19; to reconvene earlier would require a unanimous vote, something not likely to happen given the remaining Trump allies in the Senate. So McConnell's proposal takes this as a starting date, and continues:
●On Jan. 19, the Senate would receive a message from the House that it has appointed impeachment managers, and that the Senate would be ready to receive it.
●On Jan. 19 or 20, the House impeachment managers would exhibit the articles.
●On Jan. 20 or 21, the Senate would proceed to consideration of the impeachment articles at 1 p.m., and officially begin the trial. McConnell's memo noted that the "Senate trial would therefore begin after President Trump's term has expired — either one hour after its expiration on January 20, or twenty-five hours after its expiration on January 21."
There is also a question of who exactly would preside over a trial of a former president. Senate impeachment rules require Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. preside over a trial of a sitting president, but whether he would have to once Trump is no longer president is "unclear," the memo said.
It's truly astounding to think that it was quicker and easier for the Senate to confirm a lifetime Supreme Court appointment for Amy Coney Barrett than it would be for them to impeach a President who already lost his re-election bid and is about to lose his job anyway. Even more remarkable is that the GOP initially insisted that Trump shouldn't be impeached during an election year, and now they're offering — if anything — to push his impeachment until after he's left office. It is arguably permissible to impeach a president after they've left office; Rep. Matt Gaetz tried to do this with Obama in 2019.
Why bother at that point? Because, according to the Former Presidents Act of 1958, a President removed from office in accordance with Article II Section 4 of the Constitution is no longer guaranteed to receive the usual post-presidential perks of a pension, healthcare, office space and staff, and Secret Service protection, all paid for by the American people.
McConnell memo outlines how Senate would conduct second trial for Trump if House impeaches [Seung Min Kim / The Washington Post]
Image: Public Domain via the White House