Charles J. Cooper, a leading Washington conservative lawyer, writes in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal that impeaching Trump a second time, even when he is out of office, is constitutional.
His piece is entitled, "The Constitution Doesn’t Bar Trump’s Impeachment Trial," which shoots down Rand Paul's specious argument to the contrary.
Cooper was head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel during the Reagan administration, and in 2010, he was named the Republican lawyer of the year by the RNLA. As his op ed states:
If removal were the only punishment that could be imposed, the argument against trying former officers would be compelling. But it isn’t. Article I, Section 3 authorizes 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.”
That punishment can be imposed only on former officers. That is because Article II, Section 4 is self-executing: A convicted officeholder is automatically removed at the moment of conviction.
Thus a vote by the Senate to disqualify can be taken only after the officer has been removed and is by definition a former officer. 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.
The senators who supported Mr. Paul’s motion,” he wrote, “should reconsider their view and judge the former president’s misconduct on the merits.
Senator Pat Toomey on Sunday also told CNN's State of The Union, "I think it is constitutional. I think it's clearly constitutional to conduct a Senate trial with respect to an impeachment. In this case, the impeachment occurred prior to the president's leaving office."
We are a country made up of laws and a democratic system of government laid out in the U.S. Constitution.
A president or any member of Congress must never forgo the duties of the office and country they swore to uphold.
Accountability is a check and balance on making sure said criminality does not repeat itself. And if it does, it will be dealt with swiftly and legally.
Anyone who acts so despicably must be held accountable.