Former President Donald Trump’s legal team is warning “partisan” impeachment efforts will become the norm going forward in American political life if the Senate proceeds with its current impeachment trial.
During his remarks on Tuesday, Trump attorney Bruce Castor warned senators that “the political pendulum will shift one day” and that “partisan impeachments will become commonplace.”
Castor continued to note that when former President Bill Clinton was impeached, no American alive had witnessed an impeachment proceeding against a president.
By contrast, he said many Americans have witnessed three presidential impeachments since.
“This is supposed to be the ultimate safety valve, the last thing that happens, the most rare treatment,” he added.
“The slippery slope principle will have taken hold if we continue to go forward with what is happening today and scheduled to happen later this week.”
Trump’s other attorney, David Schoen, argued that the proceeding is guided by “pure, raw, misguided partisanship.”
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"The political pendulum will shift one day," Trump impeachment lawyer Bruce Castor warns, "and partisan impeachments will become commonplace." https://t.co/3HviDIeLlU #impeachmenttrial pic.twitter.com/M12EvUNgxE
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) February 9, 2021
In U.S. history, there have only been four presidential impeachments. Trump was impeached twice in just under four years.
In 2019, the House voted to impeach Trump on the charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
He is now facing an impeachment trial as lawmakers allege that he incited an insurrection against the U.S. government on Jan. 6 when a mob of violent Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol.
The majority of the Senate Republican caucus has argued that the trial of a former president is unconstitutional. However, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has called that argument a “fringe legal theory.”
Even some conservatives are not convinced that the trial is unconstitutional.
“If removal were the only punishment that could be imposed, the argument against trying former officers would be compelling,” Cooper wrote.
He noted that the Constitution includes an “optional punishment on conviction: ‘disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.'”
The Senate voted 56-44 on Tuesday that the trial can proceed.
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