Rep. Tom Reed, R.-NY, wrote in a Tuesday op-ed for The New York Times his intention to introduce a censure resolution in the House for the president “to ensure accountability occurs without delay for the events of Jan. 6.”
Then, in a somewhat startling sentence, The New Yorker called on Congress to “also look at alternatives that could allow Congress to bar Mr. Trump from holding federal office in the future.”
As appealing as that might be to some never-Trumpers, historians and political scientists agree “alternatives” to bar Trump from future office are almost non-existent.
Indeed, neither impeachment from office nor criminal behavior itself have never barred one from holding future office.
According to “The Impeachment Process in the Senate,” a document of the Congressional Research Service updated most recently Jan. 21, 2020, “if an officer [federal official] is convicted by two-thirds of Senators present, ‘such a vote operates automatically and instantaneously to separate the person impeached from office.'”
The document goes on to explain: “The Senate may then choose to take the additional action to move to disqualify a convicted officer from holding further office, although this step is not required. The Senate has established that a vote to disqualify requires a simple majority voting affirmatively, and not two-thirds as with conviction.”
This is a rare procedure. Of eight impeached officials removed from office in U.S. history (all of them federal judges), the Senate disqualified three from holding future office: Judge West H. Humphreys, 1862; Judge Robert W. Archbald, 1913; and Judge G. Thomas Porteous, 2010.
In 1981, then-U.S. District Judge Alcee Hastings of Florida was charged with taking a $150,000 bribe in return for giving a defendant a more lenient sentence.
Eight years later, having been impeached by the House, he was removed by the Senate. But senators made no move to ban him from holding future office. In 1992, he was elected to Congress representing a largely Black district and, at 84, he serves today.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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