President Trump’s impeachment trial can’t be held once he’s out of office — because it’s unconstitutional, according to Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton.
The Republican lawmaker issued a statement Wednesday shortly after the House voted to impeach Trump for a second time — and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said there’s no chance the impeachment trial could be held before President-elect Joe Biden takes office on Jan. 20.
“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,” Cotton said.
“Under these circumstances, the Senate lacks constitutional authority to conduct impeachment proceedings against a former president.”
The senator added, “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, who is vehemently