“Everyone understood that acquittal was inevitable, but few expected the president’s lawyers to argue for so sweeping a standard for impeachable conduct as they did,” said James Robenalt, an attorney at Thompson Hine and creator of a continuing legal education class on Watergate.

“There is a huge danger that the precedent set will stifle future impeachments,” he said…

Legal experts said Senate Republicans could effectively redefine the Constitution’s impeachment clause if they embrace the view that House articles must contain crimes to be valid.

“If they view the lack of a crime as key, then I do think that will influence future impeachments,” Griffin said. “One of the characteristics of this impeachment is that Democrats made no effort to argue Trump had committed a crime.”