GOP Senators Meeting With Lawyer Who Argues Trump Impeachment Is Unconstitutional

Constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley of George Washington University testifies before the House Judiciary Committee on December 4, 2019. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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January 26, 2021 12:10 p.m.

Republican senators are meeting with a familiar face on Tuesday to help them decide ex-President Donald Trump’s fate in what will be his second impeachment trial.

Politico and Fox News reported that Jonathan Turley, the constitutional scholar who served as House Republicans’ witness during Trump’s first impeachment in 2019, will meet with the GOP Senate caucus in person for lunch to make the case that impeaching Trump now that he’s out of office would be unconstitutional.

The meeting comes after Turley wrote a Fox News op-ed arguing that “[e]ach senator must decide whether such a trial is constitutional before deciding whether an accused can be retroactively removed for a high crime and misdemeanor.”

Turley asserted that the trial “is at odds with the language of the Constitution, which expressly states that removal of a president is the primary purpose of such a trial.”

“At the time, Trump will be neither a president nor in office,” the lawyer wrote. “He will be a citizen and would be best served legally to forgo the trial entirely as extraconstitutional and invalid.”

Sens. Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) have already made that argument while announcing their intention to acquit Trump.

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