Romney: Impeachment Trial Is Constitutional Even Though Trump Left Office

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 19: U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) questions Alejandro Mayorkas, nominee to be Secretary of Homeland Security, during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs confirmation hearing on... WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 19: U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) questions Alejandro Mayorkas, nominee to be Secretary of Homeland Security, during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill on January 19, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Joshua Roberts-Pool/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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January 24, 2021 11:42 a.m.

Amid several Republican senators supporting a disputed legal argument that holding a Senate impeachment trial against a former president is unconstitutional, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) rejected that notion on Sunday as he argued that Trump’s incitement of the mob who breached the Capitol earlier this month is an impeachable offense.

The Senate impeachment trial is set to start the week of Feb. 8, following the House’s vote earlier this month to impeach Trump for the second time for “incitement of insurrection.” Ten House Republicans, including its third-ranking member Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), voted in favor of impeaching Trump after the Capitol riots he incited.

During an interview on CNN Sunday morning, Romney argued that it’s “pretty clear” that the Senate impeachment trial is constitutional. Romney — who was the only Senate Republican to join Democrats in trying to remove the president from office last year — did not indicate how he will vote and said he will listen to the evidence.

“I believe that what is being alleged and what we saw, which is incitement to insurrection, is an impeachable offense,” Romney said. “If not, what is?”

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Romney added that the trial highlights Trump’s “pattern” of corruption involving “very serious” allegations leading up to the breaching of the Capitol that left five dead.

“It continues a pattern the president had of trying to corrupt the election by his communication with Ukraine, by trying to corrupt the election with regards to the lie that he’s been spreading over the last several months, and then, if you will, firing up a crowd and encouraging them to march on the Capitol at the time that the Congress was carrying out its constitutional responsibility to certify the election,” Romney said. “These allegations are very serious. They haven’t been defended yet by the president. He deserves a chance to have that heard, but I think it’s important for us to go through the normal justice process and for there to be resolution.”

When asked whether Sens, Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) should face consequences, given his statement on the day of the Capitol riots condemning those who are “complicit” by objecting to the election results, Romney said that he doesn’t think the Senate needs to take action against them, but that “those that participated in spreading that I think will recognize that they now have a responsibility to set the record straight.”

Watch Romney’s remarks below:

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