Does the Senate Have Authority to Try Second Impeachment? (Sekulow Recap)


Jordan Sekulow

January 14, 2021

3 min read




The House of Representatives has impeached President Trump for the second time. What happens now?

Today on Sekulow, we discussed how the House of Representatives has now impeached President Trump for a second time. The question is, does the Senate even have the authority to go through with a trial on that impeachment after the President leaves office?

It was about the quickest impeachment that has happened in U.S. history with just two hours for debate. And they stuck to those two hours. They had no hearings. It was just one article of impeachment.

There had been previous reports that as many as 20-25 House Republicans would vote for it, but that number wound up being only ten. The only major name on that list was Representative Liz Cheney, a ranking member of the Republican conference. We’ll see if she retains that role or if there is backlash against her for leading a charge that didn’t garner major support from members of her own caucus.

Now that the House action on impeachment is essentially concluded, we have to wonder what’s going to happen in the Senate, if there even is a Senate trial. Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made an official statement that reads in part:

Given the rules, procedures, and Senate precedents that govern presidential impeachment trials, there is simply no chance that a fair or serious trial could conclude before President-elect Biden is sworn in next week. The Senate has held three presidential impeachment trials. They have lasted 83 days, 37 days, and 21 days respectively.

Even if the Senate process were to begin this week and move promptly, no final verdict would be reached until after President Trump had left office.

That is key. There is a lot of discussion amongst Senators, and our office is checking in with them, as to whether the Senate could even have this trial with President Trump out of office. Given that the remedy for a Senate impeachment trial is removal from office, it certainly looks like trying a FORMER President in the U.S. Senate would be moot and they lack the constitutional authority to do so. It would also set a dangerous precedent.

We also discussed the hypocrisy of the Left. Here’s a reminder of what Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court, not so long ago:

I want to tell you, Gorsuch, I want to tell you, Kavanaugh. You have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price.

The full broadcast is complete with much more analysis by our team of what may happen next now that President Trump has been impeached a second time.

Watch the full broadcast below.