Utah Sen. Mitt Romney disputed claims from fellow Republicans that it was unconstitutional to hold former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial after he left office, CNN reports.
"I'll of course hear what the lawyers have to say for each side. But I think it's pretty clear that the effort is constitutional,” Romney told the network on Sunday.
The former Republican presidential candidate pointed to multiple law review articles that show "the preponderance of the legal opinion is that an impeachment trial after someone has left office is constitutional."
"I believe that what is being alleged and what we saw, which is incitement to insurrection, is an impeachable offense,” Romney said. “If not, what is?"
Romney’s comment came after fellow senators like Tom Cotton, Joni Ernst, and Roger Marshall claimed that they don’t think holding the trial after Trump left office was constitutional.
The Congressional Research Office concluded earlier this month that Congress has the authority to convict a former president.
Romney non-committal on conviction:
Romney, the only Republican who voted to convict Trump in his first impeachment trial, said he will wait to hear arguments before making his decision on how he will vote.
“I think there will be a trial and I hope it goes as quickly as possible but that’s up to the counsel on both sides,” he told Fox News.
“There’s no question that the article of impeachment that was sent over by the House describes impeachable conduct, but we have not yet heard either from the prosecution or the defense,” he added. “I’ll get a chance to hear from them, and I’ll do my best as a Senate juror to apply justice as well as I can understand it.”
Romney pushes back on Cruz, Hawley measures:
Though Romney said Trump’s impeachment trial was necessary, he pushed back on calls to punish Sens. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley for challenging the results of the Electoral College vote.
"I think history will provide a measure of judgment with regard to those that continue to spread the lie that the (former) President began with, as well as the voters in our respective communities," Romney said. "I don't think the Senate needs to take action."
Romney’s comments came after seven Democrats filed an ethics complaint against the two senators.
"By proceeding with their objections to the electors after the violent attack, Senators Cruz and Hawley lent legitimacy to the mob's cause and made future violence more likely," the complaint said, calling for a probe of whether Cruz and Hawley "were in contact or coordinated with the organizers of the rally," "knew about the plans for the event" or "received funding from organizations or donors that also funded the rally."