Republican South Dakota Sen. Mike Rounds on Sunday criticized former President Donald Trump’s upcoming Senate impeachment trial, saying it would be a difficult thing to get done and that there are other things he would rather prioritize.
Rounds appeared on NBC’s “Meet The Press” and was asked by host Chuck Todd if he thought Trump had committed an impeachable offense. (RELATED: Marco Rubio: Trump ‘Bears Responsibility For Some Of’ Capitol Riot, But Impeachment Is ‘Bad For America’)
“I think it’s a moot point because I think right now Donald Trump is no longer the president. He is a former president,” Rounds answered. “The Constitution, and I know that there are other people out there that may disagree with me, but article one, sections — I think it’s six and seven, specifically point out that you can impeach the president, and it does not indicate that you can impeach someone who is not in office.”
Other senators have also said they believe Trump cannot be convicted because he is no longer president, including Republican Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, who released a statement the day Trump was impeached. It is uncertain exactly how many senators would vote to convict Trump. The Constitution requires a two-thirds majority vote to convict an impeached president.
Rounds went on to say that the Biden administration “would love to have more of their cabinet in place” and that the Senate should allow them the opportunity to do that “as quickly as possible.”
“If we start working on an impeachment, which looks like we’re going to end up doing, we’ve only got a couple of weeks here in which to actually work through and allow this president an opportunity to form a cabinet. A lot of us would prefer to maybe work through those issues instead,” Rounds concluded.