“This is the political weaponization of the impeachment process,” Schoen told Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Monday. “I think it’s also the most ill-advised legislative action that I’ve seen in my lifetime. It is tearing the country apart at a time when we don’t need anything like that.”
Democrat lawmakers have been requesting for Trump’s impeachment since the beginning of his administration, Schoen said, and the upcoming hearing is their latest endeavor to get to him, as well as to advance their agenda of barring him from ever running for president again.
“That’s about as undemocratic as you can get,” Schoen said. “Can you imagine the slap in the face that is to the 75 million or more voters?”
“Fair-minded people don’t support using the impeachment process to then try to bar someone from running for office again,” he added.
The Democrat-controlled House on Jan. 13 voted 232–197 to impeach Trump on a single article of impeachment, alleging that the president pushed an “insurrection” that led to the U.S. Capitol breach on Jan. 6.
The impeachment, which ended in a single seven-hour session, has been slammed by Republicans for its propriety and lack of adequate process.
In the meantime, the question of whether the Senate trial, which will begin on the week of Feb. 8, is constitutional has provoked a heated public debate among legal scholars and lawmakers.
Scholars who are claiming that the trial is unconstitutional are depending on an analysis of Article II, Section 4, of the U.S. Constitution, which states, “The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”
According to them, impeachment is for current officeholders, and since Trump had already left office, the Senate’s jurisdiction—or authority—to hold an impeachment trial expired on Jan. 20, when his term came to a close.
On the other hand, scholars who are insisting that the upcoming trial is constitutional say that the impeachment power and the Senate’s jurisdiction needs to be read in conjunction with Article I, Section 3, which states, “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.”
Schoen also signaled that he and attorney Bruce Castor Jr. will also explain that Trump’s speech at the rally on Jan. 6 is protected by the First Amendment.
“This is a very, very dangerous road to take with respect to the First Amendment, putting at risk any passionate political speaker,” Schoen said.