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Lankford Issues Statement on Impending Impeachment Trial in the Senate

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford issued the following statement after he voted to support Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)’s point of order on the constitutionality of the trial of a former president: 

“This is not a trial; this is political theater. You cannot remove someone from office who is already out of office. In this trial there is no current President, no Chief Justice and no possibility someone could be removed from office because they are not in any office. In a moment when our nation needs to unite, this trial will only create even deeper divisions.”  

The US Constitution outlines the basic process for impeachment and trial of the president, but it says nothing about trying a former president: “The president…shall be removed from office on impeachment…” (Article II, Section 4) and “when the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside.” (Article I, Section 3, Clause 6) Additionally, “judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office.” (Article I, Section 3, Clause 7)