Neal Katyal, who served as acting Solicitor General in the Obama White House, on Monday mocked a legal argument put forward by one of the lawyers defending ex-President Donald Trump in his Senate impeachment trial for inciting the U.S. Capitol riot. The trial begins Tuesday.
Trump impeachment attorney Bruce Castor argued on Fox News last week that “by the House impeachment resolution logic, they can go back and impeach” former President Abraham Lincoln.
Katyal ridiculed the defense on Monday, telling MSNBC’s Ari Melber: “Donald Trump has made a lot of stupid legal arguments over the years. But Ari, this one I think takes the cake for being the most stupid.”
“The Constitution’s text has two punishments in it; removal from office and disqualification from office holding a lifetime ban,” he continued. “And I’m not sure who needs to know this, but you can’t remove a dead person and you can’t give a dead person a lifetime ban.”
“His head is now in a basket, would you like him to take it out and ask it? Uh. Do whatever you want, I’m super dead.”
“Lincoln is super dead,” Katyal concluded. “You’re not going to impeach Lincoln. But you can absolutely impeach Donald Trump, it’s part of the text of the Constitution.”
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