WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, released a statement on Monday evening regarding the upcoming impeachment trial for former President Donald Trump.
She first condemned the violence and called for Americans to come together and cool down the political rhetoric.
“Violence, no matter your party affiliation, is wrong. Destroying homes and businesses is lawlessness. A mob attack on the U.S. Capitol is inexcusable. The political rhetoric that has reverberated throughout this country for too long will only lead to more anarchy; it’s time we tone it down and come together. We have an obligation to watch our words, because they have all-too-real consequences,” Ernst said.
The junior U.S. Senator from Iowa acknowledged that Trump bore at least partial responsibility for the Capitol riot on January 6.
“As I’ve said, President Trump exhibited poor leadership and holds some responsibility for the anarchy that ensued at the heart of our democracy. The individuals who lawlessly stormed the Capitol, murdered police, and attempted to prevent Congress from doing its job, should be held accountable to the full extent of the law,” Ernst stated.
She said the impeachment process is an important constitutional tool for Congress to remove a president who is unfit to serve. Still, she expressed concerns about holding a Senate trial after a president leaves office, saying it could open up an unhealthy precedent.
“Over the coming weeks, I will have the opportunity to listen to the arguments for and against convicting a former president—and as always, I will hear from my fellow Iowans on the matter. My concern right now is that the president is no longer in office. Congress would be opening itself to a dangerous standard of using impeachment as a tool for political revenge against a private citizen, and the only remedy at this point is to strip the convicted of their ability to run for future office – a move that would undoubtedly strip millions of voters of their ability to choose a candidate in the next election,” Ernst argued.
“As we go through this process, I urge every member of the Senate to keep in mind what is best for our nation, and ultimately what will bring us together, not further divide,” she said.