Bolton Lawyer Argues the Constitution Allows for Trump To Stand Trial

Chuck Cooper, an attorney for former National Security Advisor John Bolton, is making the case for why former President Donald Trump’s Senate impeachment trial is constitutional.

In an op-ed published by The Wall Street Journal, Cooper explained why he believes the argument against the Senate’s authority to try Trump cannot be substantiated.

“The strongest argument against the Senate’s authority to try a former officer relies on Article I, Section 4 of the Constitution, which provides: ‘The president, vice president and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors,'” Cooper wrote.

He noted those arguing against the trial suggest, “Because this provision requires removal, and because only incumbent officers can be removed, it follows that only incumbent officers can be impeached and tried.”

Cooper argued the provision dismantles their claim because it establishes what is called a “mandatory minimum” punishment, meaning, if the Senate convicts an incumbent by a two-thirds vote they are removed from office.

“If removal were the only punishment that could be imposed, the argument against trying former officers would be compelling,” Cooper explained.

He notes Article I, Section 3 allows the Senate to “impose an optional punishment on conviction: ‘disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.'”

Cooper wrote only former officers can receive the punishment.

“That is because Article II, Section 4 is self-executing: A convicted officeholder is automatically removed at the moment of conviction,” he added.

Cooper continued to claim only after the officer is removed can the Senate vote to disqualify.

“Given that the Constitution permits the Senate to impose the penalty of permanent disqualification only on former officeholders, it defies logic to suggest that the Senate is prohibited from trying and convicting former officeholders,” Cooper continued.

He mentioned there are some who argue the trial is unconstitutional because Chief Justice John Roberts was asked and declined to preside.

Cooper acknowledges Article I, Section 3 says “when the president of the United States is tried, the chief justice shall preside.”

He went on to note Trump is no longer president.

“The senators who supported Mr. Paul’s motion should reconsider their view and judge the former president’s misconduct on the merits,” Cooper concluded.

Responses

    1. You do realize that the person making the news here, Ron, is Chuck Cooper, not John Bolton himself, right, Ron? Tell us that you KNEW that. Please.

  1. Bolton what’s wrong with you. You Ince supporter Trump then now you don’t. Why don’t you retire and disappear out of sight.

  2. Reread what he just said and it’s perfectly clear all the crap about impeachment is not only unconstitutional but he can’t impose any punishment for a non sitting president or official.

  3. “it defies logic to suggest that the Senate is prohibited from trying and convicting former officeholders.” Chuck Cooper, lawyer

    Don’t worry, Chuck, some airhead on IJR will attempt to do the illogical thing ANYWAY.

      1. Yep. Op-Ed from a highly respected attorney. So much so that the repub elite used him. Can’t have it both ways PUTRID PAUL.

          1. Cooper was named by The National Law Journal as one of the 10 best civil litigators in Washington so yeah, he’s pretty good Pepe….

          2. So, is this your way of saying that President Who? can’t be tried after being impeached because, lo and behold, President Who? isn’t president anymore? Is that was you are saying, Lying Paul The Emeffer?

            How’s THAT working out for you?

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