Political experts give perspective on President Trump's second impeachment
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- It's the first time a U.S. president has been impeached twice.
Experts say this is a significant showing of political partisanship and the strong division in America.
“Incitement of insurrection” is the charge brought against President Trump by Democrats in the House of Representatives.
“Here we very clearly see, for the first time in our nation’s history, not just a spat between Congress and the President but actually an allegation the President acted against the interests of our country," Ed Fallone, Marquette University Law School associate professor of law, said.
Fallone said this is how America’s founders interpreted “high crimes and misdemeanors” in the Constitution.
Other experts say an impeachment would allow Congress to make a clear, bipartisan statement on presidential conduct.
“To be the only president who was impeached twice is a very powerful message to any future president in terms of the red lines that there are versus not," UW Milwaukee Professor Emeritus Moredcai Lee said.
There are questions of whether President Trump can be convicted by the Senate after his term ends.
It has never happened to a U.S. president.
But UW Madison Political Science Professor Kenneth Mayer said it’s possible.
“The Constitution is quite clear in the views of the framers, is explicit that impeachment is an option at any point in a term, or even afterward," said Mayer.
And there are examples in America's history.
Fallone said a secretary of war under Ulysses S. Grant was to be impeached for corruption.
“He promptly ran to the White House and resigned from the Cabinet but Congress went ahead and instituted impeachment proceedings anyway," he explained.
The experts say it’s unlikely the Supreme Court or even federal courts would get involved, rather leaving this decision to Congress.
Fallone said there’s established Constitutional doctrine that these courts decide cases, not political contests.