You are currently viewing ‘I don’t know that McConnell has a lot of power,’ says GOP senator on impeachment vote – CNBC

‘I don’t know that McConnell has a lot of power,’ says GOP senator on impeachment vote – CNBC

Republican Senator Kevin Cramer of North Dakota told CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith” he doesn’t know many “wimps” in the U.S. Senate who would follow Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell when it comes to President Donald Trump’s impeachment.  

“Mitch McConnell has a lot of influence, I don’t know that he has a lot of power,” Cramer said during a Wednesday evening interview.  “He has a lot of power over the schedule, obviously, and the process, but I don’t know many wimps in the United States Senate who are going to vote one way or another just because Mitch McConnell does.”

McConnell already said an impeachment trial would not happen before President-elect Biden’s inauguration. McConnell also said that he remains undecided on how he will vote.

The House of Representatives voted 232-197 to impeach President Donald Trump with 10 Republicans voting to impeach Trump. The House voted to impeach Trump for “incitement of insurrection” after a mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 and left five people dead, including a police officer. The unprecedented charge was leveled just seven days before his term ends, and now, Trump stands alone in America’s 244-year history as the only president to be impeached twice. 

Cramer said that he thought the House “rushed to judgment” and characterized it as “a much more political body than is the Senate.” When host Shepard Smith asked Cramer if he would vote to convict Trump, Cramer argued due process. 

“I’ve read my Constitution many times, and in the country, you are afforded due process, I guess unless you are Donald Trump, and so I don’t default to guilty, because that is going against everything that the Constitution stands for and due process,” Cramer said. 

In a Wednesday evening interview on  “The News with Shepard Smith,” Ohio State University Law Professor Edward Foley explained when due process would occur during the impeachment process.

“What happened today in the House serves up what is, in essence, an indictment, and the trial is in the Senate, so that’s where due process will occur, in the trail, and it sounds like the Senate is going to proceed with deliberate speed to make sure it’s a fair trial.”

The article of impeachment said, in part, that Trump “threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coequal branch of Government.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said impeachment and conviction is the “constitutional remedy” for Trump’s actions “that will ensure that the republic will be safe from this man who is so resolutely determined to tear down the things that we hold dear and that hold us together.” 

Cramer, however, told Smith that it was not clear to him that Trump’s rhetoric incited the violent mob at the Capitol.

“The president’s rhetoric, while reckless, while at some level could be accused of inciting anger and inciting some bad behavior, it is also clear that the exact words that he used do not rise to, in my mind anyway, a criminal level of incitement as we would have to consider, in my view, in this process even as political as it is,” Cramer said. 

At the Save America rally on Jan. 6, Trump told thousands of audience members on Capitol Hill that “we will never concede,” and promoted a display of strength from his supporters. 

“We’re going walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators, and congressmen and women,” said Trump to a crowd near the White House. “We’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.”

Minutes later, a mob of his supporters stormed the and terrorized Congress. Trump has since taken zero responsibility for the deadly riot and defended his speech.

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