Donald Trump Rants About Double Jeopardy. Or Maybe Final Jeopardy? Could Be Double Cheeseburgers!
Well, Twitter's a dumpster fire, so it's off to Truth Social for Your Wonkette. See ya on the other side!
Ah, but we kid. Well, not about the dumpster fire — apparently Matt Taibbi's latest reveal is that the FBI follows public social media posts WITHOUT A WARRRANT!!1!!! #Boom #Gotcha #SuckItLibs
But we ventured over to Truth Social because we heard a rumor that the former guy is Do Ur Own Research lawyering this morning, and ... yikes.
The Fake charges made by the highly partisan Unselect Committee of January 6th have already been submitted, prosecuted, and tried in the form of Impeachment Hoax # 2. I WON convincingly. Double Jeopardy anyone!
Get the lady with the joybook onto the golf cart STAT!
In fact, Trump said a lot of crazy shit since the House January 6 Select Committee publicly referred him to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution yesterday afternoon.
What doesn't kill him makes him stronger. And the Democratic Bureau of Investigation, AKA the DBI (get it? get it?) just wants to make sure he doesn't become president again. Also he always knew the election was Rigged & Stolen, because why isn't Joe Biden in jail for those pictures of his son's giant penis, which is clearly evidence of Italian space lasers and Chinese thermostats. If only people had been able to see that penis on Twitter, everyone would have voted for Trump, who has a normal-size penis, which looks like a mushroom, and there is no problem there. Believe me!
Well, Your Wonkette is paraphrasing a little. But not a lot, 'cause seriously, the man is outta his freakin' gourd. Anyway, let's take a moment to discuss this bullshit about double jeopardy, because it's so stupid that it's virtually guaranteed to get traction with the fuckwits who follow him. You will be for shocked to learn that none of these words mean anything like what he thinks they mean.
If you'd like a long answer to the question, help yourself to this August 2000 memo from the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) addressing the question of whether a presidential impeachment by the House and acquittal by the Senate foreclosed the possibility of future criminal prosecution — which was not a hypothetical issue for then-President Bill Clinton.
First of all, the impeachment clause of the Constitution itself states pretty clearly that Congress can only boot an official out of office, at which point he or she can be civilly or criminally prosecuted like everyone else: "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."
But, okay, this does refer to "the Party convicted," and neither Clinton nor Trump fit that label. So, the OLC gave us about 2,000 words on the Founding Fathers' understanding of impeachment through the lens of English and colonial law, and honestly you don't care. But here's where they ended up:
Impeachment and criminal prosecution serve entirely distinct goals. Impeachment is one of several tools placed in the hands of Congress in order to enable it to check the other branches and thus to maintain the proper separation of powers. The limitation on impeachment sanctions to removal and disqualification from office and the requirement that removal be mandatory upon conviction show that impeachment is designed to enable Congress to protect the nation against officers who have demonstrated that they are unfit to carry out important public responsibilities, not to penalize individuals for their criminal misdeeds. The limitation on sanctions imposable by the Senate reflects the conviction that the national legislature is not to be trusted with dispensing criminal punishments, sanctions aimed not at protecting the integrity of the government’s operations but at penalizing individuals by taking away their life, liberty, or property.
In essence, the only jeopardy you're in during an impeachment proceeding is potential loss of elected or appointed office. Later criminal jeopardy where you risk going to jail is not the same thing. See also, Rep. Alcee Hastings, who was acquitted of taking bribes as a federal judge and then impeached by Congress for the same conduct, before being elected to the House of Representatives just three years later. If double jeopardy didn't bar Hastings's impeachment post-acquittal, it pretty clearly won't be a barrier to Trump's prosecution post-impeachment.
So, glad we can clear this one up. Your Wonkette likes to be of service.
And, PS, don't take legal advice from a blog. Or from Alan Dershowitz, who appears to think that a non-binding criminal referral by Congress to the DOJ amounts to a bill of attainder and an ex post facto law.
Jiminy freakin' Christmas.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.