September 24 2021 03:30 pm

Legal expert weighs in on chaos at US Capitol

National
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Wednesday’s events at the nation’s capital have many asking “what if” or “what could happen next.”

The answers to some of those questions are already written in law. 

“I mean it’s actually a very great illustration of what happens in a lawless society,” said Mary-Beth Moylan, associate dean for academic affairs at the McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento.

Like many others, Moylan said she was shocked about the events that took place in Washington, D.C.

“I think it is mind blowing,” Moylan told FOX40.

With President Donald Trump supporters storming the Capitol on the day a joint session of Congress gathered to certify electoral votes for President-elect Joe Biden, lawmakers were forced away.

Moylan said any attempt to stop the vote certification by delaying the count was never going to succeed. While law states Jan. 6 as the day the joint session convenes, there is nothing in federal law that states those votes needed to be certified today.

“There is nothing really magical,” Moylan explained. “It can happen on the sixth. If it started on the sixth, I can finish on a different day.”

With some now calling for President Trump’s impeachment for his role helping create Wednesday’s chaos, a question remains: Would it matter with just a couple of weeks left in Trump’s presidency? 

Moylan said even if the president leaves office an impeachment can still occur, preventing Trump from trying to legally take back the White House in 2024.

“You can even impeach someone after they have left office. And that way even if the impeachment process took longer than his two weeks left in office, that would mean that he would not be allowed to run again,” Moylan explained. “And I think there is some amount of value in that. And if I were in Congress, I would think that might be something I wanted to make sure didn’t happen again.”

Some, including Representative Doris Matsui, D-Sacramento, are asking Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment, which would mean the president’s cabinet deems Trump unfit for office. 

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