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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Steve Shaw Federal, State & local prosecution of Donald Trump (125* d) RE: Federal, State & local prosecution of Donald Trump 21 Jan 21


An extract from a 2000 document entitled Whether a Former President May Be Indicted and Tried for the Same Offenses for Which He was Impeached by the House and Acquitted by the Senate

... the Impeachment Judgment Clause, Article I, Section 3, Clause 7 of the Constitution dictates that impeachment must precede indictment. That clause provides:
Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust, or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indict­ment, Trial, Judgment, and Punishment, according to Law.


To quote from the document's preamble: The Constitution permits a former President to be indicted and tried for the same offenses for which he was impeached by the House of Representatives and acquitted by the Senate.


It's quite a long read and I don't want to misrepresent it, but I infer from that bit that the Constitution, recognising the limitation of sanction that a Senate conviction holds (that is, that the convicted person can't be punished in any other way than by being removed from office or barred from holding future office), allows that the person convicted by the Senate may still be prosecuted in a criminal trial via judge and jury. That would seem to me to override the federal double jeopardy position. The document refers to a precedent in the case of Spiro Agnew, but I'll let you fish that one out at your leisure. :-)

The double jeopardy rule applies in the case of being put under risk more than once for the same charge. It isn't allowed that you can simply rename the charge to make it look like a different offence, yet rely on the same evidence. It's all a bit labyrinthine and is highly subject to interpretation by senior judiciary, sometimes right up to the Supreme Court. I'm sure that anyone minded to charge a Senate-acquitted Trump with a criminal offence will tread very carefully, but it seems to me that your Constitution would support a move to charge him with the same offence that the Senate acquitted him of.


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