Impeachment And Trial After Officials Leave Office

19 Pages Posted: 3 Jul 2022 Last revised: 8 Aug 2022

Date Written: June 24, 2022


The second impeachment of President Donald J. Trump raised an important and unresolved question: May Presidents and other federal officers be impeached or tried on impeachments after they have left office? Most Democrats argued that former officers can be both impeached and tried; most Republicans argued that former officers can neither be impeached nor tried. This essay argues that both sides in the debate over the Trump impeachment were half right: Only sitting officers may be impeached, but the Senate may try any impeachment no matter whether the officer is out of office.

Keywords: Impeachment

Suggested Citation

McConnell, Michael W., Impeachment And Trial After Officials Leave Office (June 24, 2022). Missouri Law Review, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN:

Michael W. McConnell (Contact Author)

Stanford Law School ( email )

559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305-8610
United States
650-723-4039 (Phone)
650-723-4669 (Fax)


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