Coton: Senate lacks power to hold impeachment trial after Trump leaves office

His. Cotton TomTom Bryant Cotton We’ve seen this movie before – Rumors of Trump’s political demise are greatly exaggerated Third-row Democrat in Senate calls on Hawley and Cruz to resign after Capitol attack Hawley calls death of Capitol cop of “ heartbreaking tragedy ” MORE (R-Ark.), An influential Conservative and possible White House candidate in 2024, says the Senate lacks the constitutional power to hold an impeachment trial for President TrumpDonald Trump Growing number of GOP lawmakers say they support impeachment YouTube temporarily bans uploading new content to Trump House channel passes measure calling on Pence to remove Trump MORE once he leaves office.

“The Senate does not have the constitutional power to conduct impeachment proceedings against a former president. The founders conceived of the impeachment process as a way to impeach public officials – not an investigation against private citizens, ”Cotton said in a statement Wednesday evening.

Cotton’s justification for not voting to convict Trump once he leaves office will likely become political cover for other GOP senators to vote against an impeachment article passed by the House, even if they believe Trump could have committed unforeseeable offenses.

Majority Leader in the Senate Mitch mcconnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHouse passes measure calling on Pence to remove Trump, GOP house relationship suddenly deteriorates Kinzinger says he will vote to impeach Trump MORE (R-Ky.) Announced earlier Wednesday that Trump’s second impeachment trial would not begin until the Senate returns from a suspension scheduled to end on Jan.19. This means that the earliest the trial could begin would be 1 p.m. on January 20, the President elected on the same day. Joe bidenJoe Biden Growing number of GOP lawmakers say they support impeachment House passes measure calling on Pence to withdraw Trump Disney, Walmart says they will block donations to lawmakers who opposed Electoral College results is sworn.

“Given the rules, procedures and Senate precedents that govern presidential impeachment trials, there is simply no chance that a fair or serious trial can end before President-elect Biden takes the oath of office. next week. The Senate has held three presidential impeachment trials. They lasted 83 days, 37 days and 21 days respectively, ”McConnell said.

Cotton in his Wednesday night statement also argued that the Senate would not be able to conclude a trial of Trump in the next six days.

“The House has passed an article of impeachment against the president, but the Senate under its rules and precedents cannot begin and conclude a fair trial until the president leaves office next week,” he said. -he declares.

The House voted 232 to 197 on Wednesday to impeach Trump a second time, with 10 Republican lawmakers voting in favor of the article, which accused Trump of inciting an insurgency after a pro-Trump mob passed the U.S. Capitol last week.

The article accuses Trump of “repeatedly publishing false statements claiming that the presidential election results were the product of widespread fraud” and inciting a mob who “unlawfully raped and vandalized the Capitol, injured and killed members of the security forces “and” threatened members of Congress. “

Cotton condemned the violence and said the rioters should be fully prosecuted.

“’There is no grievance which is an appropriate object of redress under popular law.’ These words are as true today as they were when Abraham Lincoln spoke them. As I said last summer when mob violence gripped our streets, I say it again about the mob violence at our nation’s Capitol last week: these responsible people should be held responsible before the courts to the full extent of the law, ”he said.

But the Arkansas lawmaker said, “Loyalty to the Constitution must always remain the watchword of our nation.”

“Last week I opposed the effort to reject certified electoral votes for the same reason – loyalty to the Constitution – I now oppose impeachment proceedings against a former president,” Cotton said. .

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