Trump Erroneously Claims U.S. Supreme Court Role in Impeachment

Terrence Dopp and Greg Stohr

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump said he’d ask the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene if Congress mounts an impeachment effort against him -- even though there are no legal grounds for the justices to consider such a request.

“If the partisan Dems ever tried to Impeach, I would first head to the U.S. Supreme Court,” Trump said Wednesday on Twitter, in his latest criticism of reaction to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s findings on Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

"There no ‘High Crimes and Misdemeanors,’ there are no Crimes by me at all," he asserted in a subsequent Twitter posting.

The Constitution gives the U.S. House wide latitude to impeach the president, and some powerful Democrats have called for starting that process now, which Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other party leaders have rejected.

The House "shall have the sole Power of Impeachment" and the Senate "shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments," according to the Constitution. A 1993 Supreme Court decision says the courts have no role to play in that process, although Chief Justice John Roberts would preside over a Senate trial.

Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was nominated by Trump, wrote in the Minnesota Law Review in 2009: “If the President does something dastardly, the impeachment process is available. No single prosecutor, judge, or jury should be able to accomplish what the Constitution assigns to the Congress.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Terrence Dopp in Washington at tdopp@bloomberg.net;Greg Stohr in Washington at gstohr@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Kasia Klimasinska at kklimasinska@bloomberg.net, Justin Blum, Larry Liebert

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