WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBS4) – Colorado Congressman Joe Neguse told the U.S. Senate it is bound by the Constitution to try former President Donald Trump on impeachment charges as Trump’s attorneys tried to end the trial before it began. Trump is accused of inciting a riot to stay to in power.
Neguse – one of nine impeachment managers along with Colorado Congresswoman Dianna Degette – says what Trump did is the framers worst nightmare come to life.READ MORE: Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel Unveils $80 Million Renovation
He says giving Trump a pass because he is no longer in office would not only be wrong, it would be dangerous.
“Presidents can’t inflame insurrection in their final weeks and then walk away like nothing happened. If Congress were to just to stand aside in the face of such an extraordinary crime against the republic, it would invite future presidents to use their power without any fear of accountability.”
Neguse is one of three managers who made the case for a trial Tuesday. He insists the Constitution gives the Senate the power to remove a person from office and the power to disqualify that person from future office. One, he says, is not contingent on the other, citing two previous cases where the Senate tried former office holders.
“The text of the Constitution makes clear there is no January exception to the impeachment power.”
One of Trump’s attorneys, David Schoen, disagreed with Neguse’s assessment.READ MORE: Colorado Band The Lumineers Plays First Concert In 552 (!!) Days
“The Constitution is clear. Trial by the Senate sitting as a court of impeachment is reserved for president of the United States, not a private citizen or someone used to be president of the United States.”
Trump’s other attorney, Bruce Castor, told senators if Trump is guilty, he will be criminally charged. He insists the trial is purely political.
“We are really here because the majority in the House of Representatives does not want to face Donald Trump as a political rival in future.”
The majority of the Senate – including six Republicans – sided with the impeachment managers and voted to try the former president. The trial will start Wednesday and could last through Sunday.
It’s unclear whether witnesses will be called, but Trump’s attorneys rejected a request for him to appear.MORE NEWS: After Weeks Of Improvement, Drought In Colorado Is Getting Worse Again
In order to convict him, 17 Republicans would have to join Democrats, which appears unlikely.