Lawyers for Donald Trump and his former business associates will ask the US Supreme Court to uphold the president’s conviction of obstruction of justice and to keep the case on hold until Trump is impeached, arguing that the constitution allows the president to remain in office until the country reaches a point where the rule of law can resume.
The legal action comes as the Supreme Court considers whether the impeachment of the president is a constitutionally legitimate exercise of power, which could lead to the possibility of impeachment proceedings over Trump’s repeated attacks on the judiciary and the FBI.
The lawyers argue that the court should uphold the conviction because the president cannot be impeached if he remains in office.
“The Constitution requires that the president remain in power for the duration of the American system of government, which provides for an impeachment trial if the president violates the Constitution,” said one of the lawyers, Mark Zaid.
The other lawyer, Adam Putnam, told reporters on Wednesday that the case should be allowed to proceed as long as Trump’s lawyers make the argument that impeachment is “not a question of ‘how much’ but a question ‘whether or not’ the president should be removed from office.”
The lawyers say Trump should be impeachable because he is “a criminal” and is in contempt of Congress and the public for failing to turn over documents related to his 2016 presidential campaign.
“Mr Trump has been in office for less than three weeks, and his administration has already engaged in an unprecedented obstruction of Congress,” Putnam said.
“It would be a very sad day if the Supreme Courts decision were to stand or fall in the president being impeached.”
Trump’s legal team has been meeting with US senators, White House officials and legal experts since his arrest on Thursday, and they have been discussing the potential for a constitutional crisis if the Senate fails to pass the House’s version of the impeachment resolution.
The court will have until June 26 to rule on whether the president can be impeced.
But it has not yet been decided whether Trump can be charged with a crime for violating the constitutional rights of the US government.
Trump has repeatedly called the US House of Representatives and Senate’s proceedings “the biggest and the greatest sham in American history.”
In a letter to senators last week, Trump said they were “worse than a sham”.
He has called the impeachment proceedings “an attempt to take away our country” and has urged them to pass a resolution that “will restore the Presidency to the people of the United States.”
The House voted on a resolution in January that called for impeachment proceedings to begin “in a matter of weeks”.
But the measure failed to reach the 60 votes needed to advance to the House for debate.
Trump is not the first president to be impeched, and the first in a US Senate.
The first impeachment was against Andrew Jackson in 1808.
Jackson was the first to be convicted of a crime.
He was impeached in 1829 and convicted and executed.
Trump’s impeachment is a far cry from the US Civil War, when the country was embroiled in the first major conflict over the constitution and the federal government.