A co-founder of the Federalist Society called Wednesday for the Senate to convict President Donald Trump, arguing that his ability to return to the White House posed a “danger to the nation.”
Steven Calabresi, a professor at Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law, issued the message in a New York Times op-ed coauthored with Norman Eisen. Eisen served as a special counsel for the House Judiciary Committee during Trump’s first impeachment and as a special assistant for ethics in President Barack Obama’s White House.
“We have considerable political differences,” the duo wrote. “But we firmly share a view that should transcend partisan politics: President Trump must be impeached again and tried as soon as possible in the Senate, either before or after Inauguration Day on Jan 20.
“Trump’s most egregious impeachable offenses are inciting a violent insurrection against his own vice president, the Senate and the House of Representatives, and pressuring Georgia’s secretary of state to ‘find’ enough votes for him to overturn the legitimate election result there,” they added.
Calabresi, a prominent legal scholar whose uncle, Guido Calabresi, served as a dean of Yale Law School, ardently defended Trump on several occasions during his presidency. However, he has been more skeptical in recent memory, suggesting in July that Trump’s banter about delaying the election until people could vote “properly” constituted grounds for impeachment.
He and Eisen argued that Senate Republicans should help Democrats reach the 67-vote threshold required to win a conviction — and that he should be disqualified from holding public office again, writing, “That vote after conviction only requires a simple majority of 51.”
The House has voted to impeach 21 federal officers in history, including three presidents. The Senate has successfully voted to convict just eight officials, all of whom were federal judges. Of those, senators disqualified just three from seeking public office, which means any effort to disqualify a president would be uncharted territory.
“Not everyone who wants to occupy the Oval Office is qualified to do so,” Calabresi and Eisen added. “The Constitution’s framers recognized that in establishing both qualifications and empowering disqualification. It is both appropriate and necessary to bar Trump from the White House even if, as incredible as it may seem, some voters might wish to vote for him again. We should not allow that to happen. He tried to steal the election and incited a mob to abet his wrongdoing. He is a danger to the nation and must be removed immediately and disqualified from ever holding public office again.”
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