The Democrats plan to put Donald Trump on trial even though he no longer is in office. It’s plainly unconstitutional, for reasons explained in prior posts:

The arguments in favor of a post-departure Senate trial are convoluted, whereas the argument against simply looks at the text of the Constitution. There are arguments that in a small number of non-presidential cases the Senate attempted a post-departure impeachment trial, but those instances are not really on point, and in any event, because the Senate on a small number of prior occasions may have unconstitutionally grabbed power does not justify doing again here.

The NY Times reports that Senate Republicans are negotiating the terms of this unconstitutional trial:

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, told senators on Thursday that he planned to ask Democrats to delay the start of former President Donald J. Trump’s impeachment trial until early February to allow Mr. Trump’s legal team time to prepare a defense, according to a person familiar with his remarks.

The proposal emerged as Mr. McConnell and Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the incoming majority leader, haggled privately behind the scenes over the timing and structure of the proceeding and Speaker Nancy Pelosi refused again to say when she would transmit the impeachment charge to the Senate, thus prompting the start of the trial….

Once a trial gets underway, lawmakers in both chambers agree it should move quickly. Still bitter over the length and repetition of last year’s trial of Mr. Trump, senators were closing in on rules that would compress the meat of the trial into just three days of oral presentations, with the prosecution and defense each getting up to 12 hours to make their case, people involved in planning said. When the Senate tried Mr. Trump a year ago, each side had up to 24 hours.

Ceremonial requirements, deliberations and votes would add several additional days, but the trial could be the speediest presidential impeachment trial in history.

Still, the timeline could balloon if either the House managers or Mr. Trump’s defense team asked to call witnesses. On Thursday, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said on a conference call with Republican senators that Mr. Trump had hired a lawyer, Butch Bowers, according to a person on the call.

There’s nothing to negotiate. The trial would be unconstitutional and illegitimate, regardless of when it starts or how long it takes. It doesn’t matter what you think of Trump, the Capitol Hill riot, or the election.


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