More than 170 constitutional law scholars representing liberal and conservative backgrounds said Thursday the U.S. Constitution permits the impeachment, conviction and disqualification of former government officers, including ex-President Donald Trump.

“Indeed, the ability to try, convict, and disqualify former officials is an important deterrent against future misconduct,” the scholars wrote in a letter that was posted Thursday. “If an official could only be disqualified while he or she still held office, then an official who betrayed the public trust and was impeached could avoid accountability simply by resigning one minute before the Senate’s final conviction vote. The Framers did not design the Constitution’s checks and balances to be so easily undermined.”

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