Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., said that after the House voted to impeach President Trump last week, he expects the Senate to hold a trial relatively soon.
Booker said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday that while Republican leadership needs to be on board for the initiation of the process, he is confident that they will act.
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“You need the Republican leader to cooperate in terms of time agreements, but I fully expect it to happen as quickly as possible,” Booker said.
With Trump’s term ending at noon on Wednesday, Senate rules prevent a trial from starting until after he is out of office. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., issued a statement in which he claimed it is unconstitutional for the Senate to try someone who is no longer in power.
“The Founders designed the impeachment process as a way to remove officeholders from public office—not an inquest against private citizens,” Cotton said. “The Constitution presupposes an office from which an impeached officeholder can be removed.”
Not only does Booker disagree, he said the real problem would come from the Senate not acting.
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“I believe it is constitutionally dangerous not to proceed,” Booker said. “We just had a president of the United States try to undermine the peaceful transition of power, try to challenge a free and fair election, and him and his agents from the moments before from his son to his lawyer whipping up a crowd to go attack the Capitol. So I believe fundamentally the senate has an obligation to act.”
Booker insisted that this is not merely a political attack against Trump.
“There must be accountability for actions that are this serious, this much of a threat—not just to our constitution but to the erosion of our nation,” he said.
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In the same program, Republican Rep. Nancy Mace explained why she opposes impeachment despite being firmly against Trump’s actions. The newly-elected congresswoman from South Carolina said the biggest problem was that House Democrats ignored the proper process in order to rush through the impeachment.
“I stated very unequivocally that the House has every right to impeach the president of the United States, but the fact that we bypassed judiciary, we did not open up an investigation, that we bypassed due process, that set a dangerous constitutional precedent for others,” she said.