What’s next in Trump’s impeachment? Sen. Tom Cotton argues that the Senate has no power to stand trial once the president leaves office and the earliest start is 1:00 p.m. on Biden’s inauguration day.
- Tom Cotton issued a statement against impeachment on Wednesday evening
- The Arkansas Senator, a strong conservative voice, said it was impossible
- Cotton said Founding Fathers had no plans to rip off private citizens
- Mitch McConnell has confirmed that the Senate will not impeach Trump as president
- Constitutional scholars disagree whether a president can be impeached on departure
- On Wednesday, the House voted to impeach Trump for a second time
Influential Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton has said he is against the impeachment of Donald Trump, arguing that the president cannot be impeached if he leaves office.
Cotton, a conservative hardliner and possible candidate for the White House in 2024, issued a statement on Wednesday, after the House voted to impeach Trump a second time.
The decision is now being handed over to the Senate, and Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, said earlier on Wednesday that their trial against the president will not begin until after the Senate returns from recess that will end Jan. 19.
Tom Cotton announced on Wednesday evening that he was not in favor of impeaching Trump
Cotton, who was sworn in on Jan. 3 before the new session of Congress, said the Founding Fathers did not allow impeachment of private citizens – which will be Trump on Jan. 21.
January 20, the day of Joe Biden’s inauguration, would be the fastest time to start the trial.
“The Senate has no constitutional authority to conduct impeachment proceedings against a former president,” Cotton said.
“The founders designed the impeachment process as a way to remove office holders from public offices – not as a judicial inquiry against individuals.”
Cotton’s opposition to impeachment may convince some undecided senators.
McConnell is said to be in favor of impeaching Trump, and has reportedly vowed never to speak to him again after inciting the mob to raid the Capitol on January 6. However, McConnell has not publicly disclosed his intentions.
Cotton said impeachment was not possible after a president stepped down, and it was impossible to proceed with the trial before then.
“The House has passed an impeachment article against the president, but according to its rules and precedents, the Senate cannot initiate and complete a fair trial before the president leaves office next week,” he said.
Nancy Pelosi signed Trump’s impeachment Wednesday afternoon following the House vote
Constitutional scholars disagree on whether a trial can be held after a president has resigned.
Wednesday afternoon: House has only adopted article
What happens now? Nancy Pelosi decides when the article should be sent to the Senate. If she does, it should start the next seated day with the trial and stay seated six days a week until it’s finished
Tuesday, Jan. 19: Earliest Date Mitch McConnell has said the Senate can start considering article. Senate proceedings may mean that the trial does not start until 1:00 p.m. the next day
Wednesday, January 20, noon: Trump leaves office
What happens now? If a trial is in progress, it can continue. Most legal experts say if it hasn’t started yet, it can, but there is a minority who say the impeachment cannot go ahead if the president is not in office
J. Michael Luttig, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit from 1991 to 2006, argued in a Washington Post op-ed Tuesday that a Senate trial after Trump left office would be unconstitutional.
Other officials have been impeached in the past after leaving office, but none were president.
The Senate voted to reject some of those cases on the grounds that the subjects were no longer in office.
In 1876, former Secretary of War William Belknap resigned just before his removal. The Senate held a trial and nevertheless acquitted him.
On Wednesday, the House voted 232 to 197 to impeach Trump a second time, with 10 Republican lawmakers voting in favor of the article.
The impeachment article accuses Trump of having “ repeatedly made false statements claiming that the results of the presidential election were the product of widespread fraud ” and summoned a mob that “ unlawfully broke through and destroyed the Capitol, wounded law enforcement officials and killed ‘and’ threatened members’. of Congress. ‘
Cotton condemned the violence and said rioters should be fully prosecuted.
But the Arkansas senator said, “Constitutional loyalty must always remain the greatest in our nation.”
“Last week I opposed the attempt to reject certified electoral votes for the same reason – true to the constitution – I am now opposed to impeachment proceedings against a former president.”