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On Jan. 22, the Wall Street Journal published Princeton University professor of politics Keith E. Whittington’s defense of the disqualification-from-future-office purpose of the Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump scheduled to begin on Feb. 8.

The day before, more than 100 legal scholars, including Federalist Society co-founder Steven Calabresi, released a statement making the same argument.Whittington holds that “for the Founders,” a Senate trial merely to “disqualify” a former federal official was a “traditionally understood” principle “imported to America from England.” Likewise, the scholars argue that “history,” including “English impeachment” history as well as the intentions of “the Framers” of the Constitution, is the source of the alleged constitutional power to convict “prior officeholders as well as current ones.” What is more, a Constitution without an independent disqualification power would be a Constitution that could be “easily undermined.”

Why It’s Unconstitutional To Impeach Someone After He Leaves Office

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