Ernst argues Trump impeachment trial is unconstitutional

Published: Jan. 26, 2021 at 2:35 PM CST
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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst says she believes it’s unconstitutional to try a president for articles of impeachment after he leaves office.

Ernst was a loyal supporter of President Donald Trump while he was in office. She is among several Republican senators to question the impeachment proceedings, casting doubt on whether Democrats can get the needed Republican votes to convict Trump.

Ernst told reporters Tuesday that Trump exhibited poor leadership and has some responsibility for a Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. She says he should have more quickly told the crowd to remain peaceful. However, Ernst said she’s not sure his actions meet the definition of inciting an insurrection as alleged by the impeachment article prepared by the House.

Ernst joined Iowa colleague Sen. Chuck Grassley and 43 other Republican senators on Tuesday afternoon to vote on a motion to dismiss raised by Sen. Rand Paul calling the proceedings unconstitutional.

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