In a new op-ed for The Hill, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) argued that if Chief Justice John Roberts does not preside over the Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump, then it is not constitutional.
“The Constitution says two things about impeachment — it is a tool to remove the office holder, and it must be presided over by the chief justice of the Supreme Court,” Paul wrote. “If Justice Roberts is not presiding over this, then it is not impeachment. This charade will be nothing more than bitter partisanship and political theater.”
According to a Politico report last week, sources inside Capitol Hill are saying that Roberts has expressed no interest in being a part of the new trial. So far, however, Roberts has not issued a public statement about what role he will or will not have in the procedure.
Paul went on to say that while he did not agree with certain Republican lawmakers who wanted to perform “a little play for their supporters” by challenging the election results, he did not believe that people like Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, and Donald Trump could be held responsible for what happened at the Capitol on January 6th.
“If we are to blame politicians for the most violent acts of their craziest supporters, then many of my colleagues would face some pretty harsh charges themselves. I’ve been shot at, assaulted and harassed by supporters of the left, including some who directly said the words of politicians moved them to this violence,” he wrote.
“I was there at the ball field when a deranged Bernie Sanders supporter almost killed Steve Scalise and seriously wounded several others,” he continued. “At the time, Democrats were arguing that the GOP plan for health care was ‘you get sick, then they let you die.’ Is it any wonder an insane left-wing gunman took that rhetoric to heart and concluded: ‘If the GOP is going to let me die then maybe I’ll just kill them first?’”
Paul said that if Biden and the Democrats want to preserve any chance of moving forward in a spirit of unity, they have to end their efforts to take “revenge” against Trump.
“I am more than willing to work with Democrats to find common ground on protecting civil liberties or ending some of our many foreign military interventions, but no unity or common ground will be found while Democrats continue to fight the last election,” he wrote. “This so-called impeachment is a farce and should be dismissed before it is even allowed to begin.”