President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced via Twitter that he plans to challenge any attempt at impeachment in the Supreme Court—a legal strategy that has no basis in reality, as experts pointed out.
The president, fresh off a face-to-face meeting with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in which Trump complained about his follower count on the website, spent Wednesday morning using the social media service to rant about the possibility of congressional action against his presidency.
"If the partisan Dems ever tried to Impeach, I would first head to the U.S. Supreme Court," tweeted Trump.
The Mueller Report, despite being written by Angry Democrats and Trump Haters, and with unlimited money behind it ($35,000,000), didn’t lay a glove on me. I DID NOTHING WRONG. If the partisan Dems ever tried to Impeach, I would first head to the U.S. Supreme Court. Not only......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 24, 2019
The president then pivoted to attacking his opponent in the 2016 election—which concluded over two-and-a-half years ago—Hillary Clinton.
.....are there no “High Crimes and Misdemeanors,” there are no Crimes by me at all. All of the Crimes were committed by Crooked Hillary, the Dems, the DNC and Dirty Cops - and we caught them in the act! We waited for Mueller and WON, so now the Dems look to Congress as last hope!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 24, 2019
Trump may want to use the U.S. Supreme Court to push back on attempts to impeach him for high crimes and misdemeanors, likely because of the possible obstruction charges laid out in the Mueller report, but that's not how any of this works.
Congress has the sole power to remove the president from office. The House brings impeachment charges and, if successful in the lower chamber, the Senate acts as a jury. The courts are not a part of the process.
A number of commentators made that point Wednesday morning and bemoaned the president's lack of understanding in the system that he's in charge of.
“The Constitution gives the House of Representatives the sole power to impeach an official, and it makes the Senate the sole court for impeachment trials.”https://t.co/UsG3kTJAL9— Lawrence Hurley (@lawrencehurley) April 24, 2019
"Impeachment is a question of 'high crimes and misdemeanors'—that is, of violations of the public trust," said Atlantic editor Yoni Applebaum in a lengthy Twitter thread detailing the impeachment process. "And that's a matter for Congress; Donald Trump cannot save himself by appealing to the Supreme Court."
11. But impeachment is a question of “high crimes and misdemeanors”—that is, of violations of the public trust. And that’s a matter for Congress; Donald Trump cannot save himself by appealing to the Supreme Court.— Yoni Appelbaum (@YAppelbaum) April 24, 2019
"So much wrong with this president and with the election of a man who is ignorant about the Constitution," said Joyce Vance, a former U.S. attorney and current professor of law at the University of Alabama. "So worrisome he believes the Court will save him, no matter what."
“If the partisan Dems ever tried to Impeach, I would first head to the U.S. Supreme Court” - so much wrong with this President & with the election of a man who is ignorant about the Constitution. So worrisome he believes the Court will save him, no matter what. https://t.co/OEGK2JCziM— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) April 24, 2019
Members of the Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives—the chamber of Congress that would bring the charges against the president—have made clear they will not pursue impeachment at this time.