Romney on impeachment: "It's pretty clear that the effort is constitutional."
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said on CNN's "State of the Union" he believes the impeachment trial is constitutional, despite former President Trump no longer being in office.
Driving the news: Some Republicans have objected to hearing the impeachment trial in the Senate, saying it would be unconstitutional to convict a former president.
- But a bipartisan group of more than 150 constitutional law scholars wrote a letter arguing the trial would be constitutional, and that it is permitted to impeach former officers, including presidents.
- A Congressional Research Service report from January 15 also suggests the proceedings would be constitutional, stating, "it appears that most scholars who have closely examined the question have concluded that Congress has authority to extend the impeachment process to officials who are no longer in office."
What he's saying: "I think if you put aside the partisan columns that are written in various publications and look at those that are written by academics, you'll find that the preponderance of the legal opinion is that an impeachment trial after someone has left office is constitutional," Romney said.
- "I'll hear what the lawyers have to say for each side, but I think it's pretty clear that the effort is constitutional."
Worth noting: Romney was the only Republican senator to vote to impeach Trump during the president's first trial before the chamber. The Utah senator appeared to signal that he would potentially vote to convict Trump.
- "I believe that what is being alleged and what we saw, which is incitement to insurrection, is an impeachable offense. If not, what is?"