President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021.Al Drago - Pool Via CNP via ZUMA

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To avoid conviction at former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, Trump’s lawyers will argue that the impeachment itself is unconstitutional. But one scholar whose work they are relying on to make that claim has weighed in to say the lawyers “misrepresent what I wrote quite badly.”

In a brief written for the Senate and submitted Monday, they argue that because Trump is no longer in office, he can no longer be impeached. For Republicans hoping to acquit Trump, letting him off on a technicality without focusing on the horrific events of January 6 has obvious appeal. But the notion that Trump cannot be convicted once out of office is a minority view among constitutional scholars—and it is not the view of Brian Kalt, one scholar Trump’s lawyers repeatedly cited. An impeachment expert, Kalt wrote a 2001 article that endorsed the constitutionality of a so-called “late impeachment.” But he is used again and again in Trump’s brief to argue the opposite.

Perhaps Professor Kalt would make a good witness at trial—for the prosecution.

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IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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