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PolitiFact Wisconsin: Can the U.S. Senate convict a former President?

Posted at 6:44 PM, Feb 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-05 19:45:07-05

Next week the U.S. Senate will begin the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump. Can a former president face a trial? PolitiFact Wisconsin looks at that question and a claim that state public school funding had its biggest increase in a decade.

First, the impeachment trial.

"Former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says the U.S. Senate cannot convict a former president," said Eric Litke with PolitiFact Wisconsin.

It's important to note an impeachment conviction carries two penalties - removal from office, which is no longer an issue with President Trump - and a ban on holding federal office in the future.

PolitiFact Wisconsin says not everyone agrees on the answer to this constitutional question, but there may be political precedent in the Senate. In 1876 there was an impeachment trial for a Secretary of War who was no longer in office.

"Such ambiguous constitutional matters are typically left to the branches themselves to interpret and in this case, we have a Senate that is now voted twice that it has the right to do so," said Litke. "First in 1876 and again in this time around in defeating an objection from Senator Rand Paul, who tried to halt the proceedings on the grounds that they were unconstitutional."

PolitiFact Wisconsin rated this claim Mostly False.

Gov. Tony Evers is taking credit for increasing school funding.

"Gov Tony Evers said under his leadership Wisconsin has boosted aid for schools by $330 million, the largest jump in more than a decade," said Litke

The legislative fiscal bureau tells PolitiFact Wisconsin school aid did jump $330 million or 3.5 percent in the last budget cycle.

"Even adjusted for inflation that number is easily the largest recent increase," said Litke, "you have to go back to 2005 2007 to find a bigger jump, in that case about $700 million."

PolitiFact Wisconsin rated this claim True.

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