Post-term impeachment


Former President Donald Trump is currently on trial for impeachment, and yet, he is no longer president. Many wonder if impeaching a president who is no longer in office is the same as giving a detention to a kid no longer in school. However, there would still be some very serious consequences for Trump despite no longer holding office.

First, one must backtrack in order to understand why he is being impeached. The House Judiciary Committee revealed that their Articles of Impeachment were obstruction of Congress and abuse of power, both of these stemming from the raid on Jan. 6 that he both incited and failed to condemn.

“He encouraged violence against his own government and did nothing to try and stop it,” senior Zoe Rastetter said.

After refusing to accept the results of the election, Trump’s supporters rioted at the Capitol Building during the verification of electoral college votes.  Beforehand, Trump had held a rally. The House alleges he incited his supporters to attack the building.  

“We’re going to walk down to the Capitol. And we’re gonna cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women. And we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them, because you’ll never take back our country with weakness, you have to show strength and you have to be strong,” Trump said to the crowd of his supporters an hour before the certification of electoral college votes was set to begin. 

This protest became violent almost immediately and many people are blaming the violence that occured on former president Trump. And this is the basis for his impeachment, inciting a coup on his own capitol.

“If he wouldn’t have said anything at the conference he held right before the raid, nothing would have happened,” senior Rachel Bodner said.

There are still several questions surrounding the impeachment. What exactly is Congress trying to accomplish with the impeachment? Is it necessary to impeach a president that’s no longer in office? And so on.

In a nutshell, Congress is using this impeachment as a way to show that this can never happen again with any future president or government member. 

“It sets the precedent that you can’t just incite violence and get away with it,” senior Madison Praxl said.

This is the much broader reasoning for the impeachment, the impeachment will also have more personal consequences for Trump. Being thrown out of office, even after his term is over, means that he will never be able to hold a public office again in the future. This means he cannot run for president again in 2024, like he stated he would.

His termination would also result in him not being given a pension, like every other past president receives. In addition to this, past presidents also receive an annual travel budget which would also be taken if he is found guilty at the end of the impeachment trials.

Some argue that all of this is not worth the time and money the impeachment trial would take since he is no longer in power. However, most Americans do agree that what Trump and his supporters did was unacceptable and that it cannot be swept under the rug anymore.