前总统唐纳德·J·特朗普(Donald J. Trump)的弹劾审判于周二开始，在前几个小时内，人们将讨论的第一个问题是，对被弹劾的前总统进行审判是否符合宪法。
The top conservative lawyer Charles J. Cooper unexpectedly expressed support for the constitutionality of the trial. JIM WILSON/THE NEW YORK TIMES
This issue has great political significance.Republicans considered the procedure unconstitutional; by doing so, they avoided confirming whether Trump’s role in congressional riots committed impeachable crimes.
Senate Republicans who voted to dismiss the trial last month on grounds of unconstitutionality came under pressure on Sunday to re-evaluate their position. At the time, a major conservative constitutional lawyer Charles J. Cooper (Charles J. Cooper) - he had been Is a close ally and adviser of Republican senators such as Ted Cruz of Texas-in a Wall Street Journal column, claims that the proceedings are constitutionally controversial It is unfounded.
On Tuesday, the Senate allocated four hours to debate the issue.Here is what you need to know.
What did the Republicans say?
House Democrats and 10 Republicans voted to impeach Trump on the grounds of "sedition" a week before Trump's departure.
The impeachment put pressure on Senate Republicans, asking them to either forgive or deny Trump's actions.Some people put aside this issue and focus on the procedure itself. They believe that regardless of whether Trump’s actions constitute serious crimes and indiscriminate conduct, the Senate cannot try him because the constitution does not allow the former president to accept impeachment trials.
What will the Democrats say?
The Democratic leader of the House of Representatives impeachment case is expected to widely declare that the president can stand trial for crimes committed during his tenure, regardless of when the trial takes place.Democrats say that if this is not the case, the president who made mistakes in the final weeks of his term cannot be held accountable.
"Constitution makers worry that the president will'spare no effort to win a second term for himself,' thereby ruining his position," the nine impeachment chiefs wrote in a document last week. "If inciting riots against a joint meeting of Congress after the election is defeated is not an impeachable crime, then it is hard to imagine what else could be impeachable."
Trump’s lawyers are likely to make a narrower and more technical argument that the constitution prohibits the former president from being tried.
“The U.S. Senate lacks jurisdiction over the 45th President because he has not held any public office that can be removed, making the impeachment clauses meaningless,” Trump’s lawyer Bruce L. Castor Jr. L. Castor Jr. and David Schoen wrote in a 14-page response to the responsible person in the House of Representatives last week.
What did the conservative lawyer say?
In his column, Cooper refuted the Republicans' claim that the penalty for impeachment and conviction is removal from office, so there is no intention to apply to the former president.
Cooper believes that the Constitution gives the Senate the power to prohibit convicted officials from holding public office again.He wrote: "It is illogical to prohibit the Senate from trial and conviction of former officials."
Cooper said that since Republicans voted on this issue last month, relevant legal academic research has evolved and exposed "serious weaknesses" in their arguments.
"Senators who support Paul's motion," he wrote, "should reconsider their views and judge the former president's misconduct based on facts."
Cooper's career has focused on promoting conservative constitutional laws.As a senior official of the Justice Department of the Reagan administration, he wrote an opinion on whether employers can refuse to hire people who may have AIDS, and was criticized as discrimination.As a private lawyer, he has represented the National Rifle Association, an advocate of school prayer, and a defender of the California same-sex marriage ban.
The senators will vote on this issue.
On Monday, Democrats seized Cooper's article to support their impeachment of Trump.
"It's not the liberals, but Chuck Cooper—a lawyer who sued Speaker Pelosi on behalf of House Republicans and was also Senator Cruz’s pre-election adviser—it was he who bluntly refuted our The core argument heard from the lawyers of the former president," Democratic leader and New York Senator Chuck Schumer said in a speech in the Senate.
On Tuesday, when Republicans are asked to vote again on this issue, people will see the impact of Cooper's article.Some senators privately stated that after Paul raised this issue, they were caught off guard by last month’s vote and expressed their willingness to debate this issue and consider constitutional issues.Rob Portman of Ohio and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, among others, said that they voted against the action because they wanted to do more on this issue. debate.
Steven Telles, author of "Never Trump: The Revolt of the Conservative Elites" and professor at Johns Hopkins University (Steven Teles) believes that Cooper's conservative qualifications and decision to publicly state his views are likely to prompt some senators to at least consider his views.
"If Chuck Cooper said openly,'That's not the case,' it would really make them more difficult to deal with," said Tellis, a senior researcher at the Niskanen Center, a think tank in Washington. "Everyone wants to use a procedural point of view to avoid all problems. If a conservative legal authority says that you can't actually avoid this problem, it's even harder to avoid it."
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