Although the House of Representatives impeached President Trump last week, the Senate has no constitutional authority to hold a trial after he leaves office, Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas said.
“The Senate lacks constitutional authority to conduct impeachment proceedings against a former president,” Cotton said in a statement. “The founders designed the impeachment process as a way to remove officeholders from public office, not an inquest against private citizens.”
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The impeachment, accomplished in a single seven-hour session, was the fastest in U.S. history. It also was the first time in the nation’s history that a president has been impeached twice. Republicans criticized the rush, arguing that it offered no due process to the president and no confidence in the proceedings to the American people. Democrats justified the truncated process
Cotton argued that the Senate would not be able to conclude an impeachment trial before Jan. 20, when President-elect Joe Biden is set to be sworn into office.
“The House has passed an article of impeachment against the president, but the Senate under its rules and precedents cannot start and conclude a fair trial before the president leaves office next week,” he said.
The lawmaker condemned last week’s violence that transpired as some rioters and protesters decided to unlawfully enter the Capitol building as the majority of Trump supporters rallied outside.
“Fidelity to the Constitution must always remain the lodestar of our nation,” he added. “Last week, I opposed the effort to reject certified electoral votes for the same reason — fidelity to the Constitution — I now oppose impeachment proceedings against a former president. The House has passed an article of impeachment against the president, but the Senate under its rules and precedents cannot start and conclude a fair trial before the president leaves office next week.”
The lawmaker condemned the violence that transpired as some rioters and protesters decided to unlawfully enter the Capitol building as the majority of Trump supporters rallied outside.
“’There is no grievance that is a fit object of redress by mob law,’”, Cotton said. “Those words are as true today as when Abraham Lincoln spoke them. As I said last summer when mob violence gripped our streets, so I say again about the mob violence at our nation’s Capital last week: those persons responsible should be held accountable in the courts to the full extent of the law.”
–Alan Goforth | Mettro Voice