Klobuchar says Senate impeachment trial of former official is constitutional: ‘We have precedent’
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) on Sunday defended the Senate impeachment trial of former President Trump, saying it is constitutional and dismissing arguments of her Republican colleagues.
Host George Stephanopoulos asked Klobuchar on ABC’s “This Week” for a response to those who are arguing that the proceedings are unconstitutional because Trump is no longer in office.
“It is constitutional. We have precedent from way back when a secretary of War was tried after he had left office. And, obviously, there was a remedy that would help in the future, which would ban former President Trump from running again,” replied Klobuchar.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar argues that an impeachment trial of Donald Trump after he has left office is constitutional.
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) January 24, 2021
The senator was likely referring to War Secretary William Belknap, who was accused of accepting kickbacks from political appointees in 1876. Belknap resigned before his trial began, but the Senate at the time had agreed that they held jurisdiction to impeach government officials who had left office.
Stephanopoulos on Sunday also asked Klobuchar whether or not there is enough support among GOP senators for Trump’s second Senate impeachment trial to result in a conviction.
“My colleagues have not yet committed about what they’re going to do,” Klobuchar said, pointing to a recent New York Times article that reported Trump had attempted to oust and replace acting Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen in an attempt to overturn the Georgia election results.
“As if it’s not enough that he sent an angry mob down the mall to invade the Capitol, didn’t try to stop it and a police officer was killed,” added Klobuchar. “I don’t really know what else you need to know. The facts were there, we saw it right there on the platform during the inauguration as you can still see the spray paint at the bottom of many of the columns.”
When asked if other options are being considered regarding Trump such as censure, Klobuchar stated that Democratic senators were focused on impeachment, but acknowledged “there are many options.”
–Updated at 11:16 a.m.