Does it? Former federal appellate judge J. Michael Luttig made that case to Byron York earlier in the day. By the evening, Judge Luttig had decided to lay out his case more thoughtfully in the pages of the Washington Post. The judge, who had been on Supreme Court short lists during the George W. Bush administration, argues that the Constitution only specifies impeachment and removal for active federal officers.
Does the lack of inclusion make for an exclusion, however? That case isn’t quite as certain, as even Luttig grudgingly allows, and certain precedents might argue against it:
The sequencing of the House impeachment proceedings before Trump’s departure from office and the inauguration of the new president, followed by a Senate impeachment trial, perhaps months later, raises the question of whether a former president can be impeached after he leaves office.
The Constitution itself answers this question clearly: No, he cannot be. Once Trump’s term ends on Jan. 20, Congress loses its constitutional authority to continue impeachment proceedings against him — even if the House has already approved articles of impeachment.
Therefore, if the House of Representatives were to impeach the president before he leaves office, the Senate could not thereafter convict the former president and disqualify him under the Constitution from future public office.