“The Senate lacks constitutional authority to conduct impeachment proceedings against a former president. The Founders designed the impeachment process as a way to remove officeholders from public office—not an inquest against private citizens,” Cotton said in a statement.
Cotton affirmed in his statement that he will object to another Senate impeachment trial after Democrats in the House of Representatives, followed by 10 Republicans, voted earlier to impeach President Donald Trump for the second time in a 232-197 vote. 197 other House Republicans voted against impeachment.
The single article of impeachment claims that President Trump incited a disorder that ended in the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. The impeachment, performed in a single seven-hour session, was the quickest in U.S. history. It is likewise the first time in the nation’s history that a president has been impeached twice.
Republicans denounced the rush, claiming that it offered no due process to President Trump and no reliance in the proceedings to the American people. Democrats supported the truncated manner by claiming that Trump poses a danger to the country every day he is in office.
“We know that the president of the United States incited this insurrection, this armed rebellion, against our common country,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) claimed. “He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love.”
Every Democrat voted in favor of impeachment.
Republicans who voted to impeach President Trump were Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), John Katko (R-N.Y.), Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.), Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.), Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio), Tom Rice (R-S.C.), David Valadao (R-Calif.), and Peter Meijer (R-Mich.)
Cotton further claimed that the Senate would not be able to achieve an impeachment trial before Jan. 20, when President-elect Joe Biden is set to be sworn into office.
“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,” he said.
The lawmaker condemned last week’s brutality that occurred as some rebels and demonstrators decided to illegally enter the Capitol building as the majority of Trump supporters rallied outside.
“’There is no grievance that is a fit object of redress by mob law.’ Those words are as true today as when Abraham Lincoln spoke them. As I said last summer when mob violence gripped our streets, so I say again about the mob violence at our nation’s Capitol last week: those persons responsible should be held accountable in the courts to the full extent of the law,” Cotton said.