“The People vs. Donald Trump”

David Leonhardt excellent, thorough op in today’s Times started me musing over one aspect of our criminal laws:

Let’s say the House does impeach Trump and then the GOP-controlled Senate tries and acquits him.

An impeachment is an indictment, not a conviction. If the Senate does not convict Trump, does double jeopardy come into the picture? That is, could Robert Mueller’s federal grand jury no longer indict Trump for crimes cited by the House? Or if they did and it was sealed until Trump left office, what would happen if the House had impeached Trump in the meantime?

Black’s Law Dictionary is meager:

Double jeopardy. The fact of being prosecuted or sentenced twice for substantially the same offense.

Double Jeopardy Clause. The Fifth Amendment provision stating, “nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.”

Note how our Founding Fathers spelled “offense.”

I don’t know. Can somebody tell me? I suppose I could do more “research” than I just did but it’s Sunday and I intend to be watching the NFL playoffs which are more imminent than Trump’s impeachment.

P.S. Maybe I’ll tweet Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler with this question. I bet they know.

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