Sen. Cotton Calls Impeachment Trial After Jan. 20 Unconstitutional Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark. (Drew Angerer/Pool via AP, File)
By Brian Trusdell | Thursday, 14 January 2021 03:54 PM
Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas says the U.S. Senate will have no constitutional authority to conduct an impeachment trial of President Donald Trump once he leaves office.
In a statement issued Wednesday by Cotton’s office, the 43-year-old Republican echoed the sentiments of fellow Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina who pointed out that impeachment is a process to remove someone from office and Trump will have left the White House before the Senate can take up the matter.
''Under these circumstances, the Senate lacks constitutional authority to conduct impeachment proceedings against a former president,'' Cotton wrote. ''The Founders designed the impeachment process as a way to remove officeholders from public office — not an inquest against private citizens.
''The Constitution presupposes an office from which an impeached officeholder can be removed.''
Cotton also endorsed the comments of other congressional Republicans, such as Rep. Lisa McClain of Michigan, who on Newsmax TV on Wednesday decried that ''I’ve been here (in Washington) for two weeks now. We haven’t talked about one issue other than the perceived hatred and personalization of President Trump."
Cotton said there were other priorities than pursuing an unnecessary and unconstitutional process.
''After Jan. 20, Congress should get on with the people’s business: improving our vaccination efforts, getting kids back to school, and getting workers back on the job,'' he wrote.