Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AK) said after the House impeached President Donald Trump on Wednesday that he didn’t support continuing the process in the Senate because it isn’t constitutional to impeach a president after he is out of office.
“The Senate under its rules and precedents cannot start and conclude a fair trial before the president leaves office next week,” Cotton stated. “Under these circumstances, the Senate lacks constitutional authority to conduct impeachment proceedings against a former president.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said the Senate would not receive the article of impeachment passed in the House until January 19 at the earliest and could not begin a trial until 1:00 p.m. on January 20, after trump has left office on Inauguration Day.
“The Founders designed the impeachment process as a way to remove officeholders from public office—not an inquest against private citizens,” Cotton said.
“Fidelity to the Constitution must always remain the lodestar for our nation,” he continued. “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.”
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