GOP Sen. Rob Portman says Trump impeachment trial post-presidency could set a dangerous precedent

Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio advised CNBC why he joined 44 different Republicans to reject the constitutionality of impeaching former President Donald Trump. 

“I think the Constitutional issue needs to be addressed and not tabled and not set aside, and so as a juror I’m going to be listening to both sides, but we have to address the Constitutional issue and the precedent that this would set, so if you look at the Constitution … it’s about removal, and this is a private citizen now, Donald Trump, not president,” stated Portman throughout a pre-taped interview Thursday night on “The News with Shepard Smith.”

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul led the cost to rebuff the process’s constitutionality. First, on the grounds that Trump is now not in workplace and, second, given the truth that the Senate’s president professional tempore Patrick Leahy (D-VT) will preside over the trial as an alternative of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. 

Roberts presided over Trump’s first impeachment trial, however he will not reprise the position a second time. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York advised MSNBC’S Rachel Maddow Show on Monday that the choice to preside was as much as Roberts.

“The Constitution says the Chief Justice presides for a sitting president,” stated Schumer. “So that is not going to be — so it was up to John Roberts whether he wanted to preside with a president who’s no longer sitting, Trump. And he doesn’t want to do it.”

Portman advised host Shepard Smith that he was nervous concerning the precedent this impeachment trial could create. 

“Think of the precedent of saying that Republicans could go after President Obama or President Clinton or Democrats could go after George W. Bush as a private citizen,” Portman stated.  

Portman had beforehand acknowledged that Trump “bears some responsibility” for the Capitol riot on Jan. 6. He didn’t help Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election outcomes, and he voted to uphold licensed election outcomes on Jan. 6 and delayed the depend.

Smith pressed Portman on what he thought an applicable punishment for Trump could be. 

“One appropriate consequence is people to speak out, as I have very clearly, before, frankly, and during, and after, and I think that’s important, also, that the House has acted, so there has been consequence in that way,” stated Portman.

Portman introduced that he would not search re-election subsequent yr however will serve out his time period that ends on Jan.  3, 2023. He stated that he “will not miss the politics and the partisanship, and that’s gotten more difficult over time.”

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