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Jan. 24, 2021, 11:55 a.m. EST

Romney says constitutional-law scholars conclude a president can be impeached after leaving office

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By Tim Rostan

Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah broke with a popular talking point in stating Sunday on CNN that the "preponderance" of opinion from legal experts concludes that a public official can be impeached even after the expiration of that official's term in office. Some of Romney's fellow Republicans have argued Donald Trump, who left office Wednesday, cannot be convicted in his upcoming Senate impeachment trial because the Constitution speaks of impeachment as a tool for removal of a president who is adjudged to have committed high crimes or misdemeanors. The impeachment article passed on Jan. 13 in the House on a bipartisan vote includes language declaring Trump unfit to run for public office in the future. "I'll, of course, hear what the lawyers have to say for each side. But I think it's pretty clear that the effort is constitutional," Romney said in an interview on CNN's Sunday-morning show "State of the Union." The Senate impeachment trial is set to begin the week of Feb. 8.

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