Senator Tammy Duckworth calls upcoming Senate impeachment trial “perfectly constitutional”
Senator Paul wants to raise the issue of the constitutionality of the impeachment proceedings
In his opinion, a president who has left office cannot be tried in the Senate
Senate impeachment trial against Donald Trump on Tuesday may face first hurdle: Republican Senator Rand Paul says trial of former president would be in violation of the Constitution.
Trump is the only president in US history to be impeached twice by the House of Representatives and the first to face litigation after leaving office. If the senators convict him, he could be banned from holding public office in the future. The proceedings are expected to begin on February 9.
Senator Rand Paul, a Trump ally, has pledged to get a vote on whether the constitution allows a former president, now a private citizen, to sit in the Senate. Trump leaves office on January 20.
On January 13, the House of Representatives approved the only clause of impeachment, accusing Trump of inciting mutiny in connection with the storming of the Capitol by a crowd of supporters..
“I will get a vote on whether the Senate can try a private individual,” Paul tweeted late Monday night. Previously, other Republicans expressed a similar objection..
Paul is expected to speak in the Senate around noon.
Discussions are going on between legal scholars on this issue. Many experts consider “belated impeachment” constitutional, insisting that presidents who have committed violations shortly before leaving office should not have immunity.
For a conviction to be pronounced, two-thirds of the senators must vote for it. Since the Senate seats are equally divided between the two parties, the conviction should be supported by all Democrats and 17 Republicans, which seems unlikely, since Trump remains an influential figure in the Republican Party..
Some of Trump’s party members criticized him for allegations of electoral fraud, but none of the Republican senators said they planned to vote for a conviction..
Paul also opposed the presidency of Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy, who holds the ceremonial position of interim President of the Senate. “When the President of the United States is tried, the President of the Supreme Court must preside,” he wrote, referring to the text of the Constitution..
According to a Senate source, while the Constitution requires the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to chair the process, in cases where a speech is impeached by a non-incumbent president, one of the Senators will play the role of chairman..