Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman told CNBC why he had joined 44 other Republicans to deny the constitutionality of the charges against former President Donald Trump.
"I think the constitutional question needs to be addressed and not tabled and not put aside, and as a juror I will listen to both sides, but we have to deal with the constitutional question and the precedent that would create. So if you look at the constitution … it's about the distance, and this is a private person now, Donald Trump, not President, "Portman said during a taped interview Thursday night on" The News with Shepard Smith ".
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul initiated charges of dismissing the constitutionality of the trial. Firstly, on the grounds that Trump is no longer in office, and secondly, given that the Senate President Patrick Leahy (D-VT) is presiding over the process in place of the Supreme Court Justice John Roberts becomes.
Roberts led Trump's first impeachment trial, but he won't repeat the role a second time. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, of New York, told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show on Monday that the decision to take the chair rests with Roberts.
"The constitution says that the chief judge presides over a seated president," said Schumer. "So it won't be so – so it was up to John Roberts to see if he wanted to preside over a president who is no longer in office, Trump. And he doesn't want to do it."
Portman told host Shepard Smith he was concerned about the precedent this impeachment trial could set.
"Think about the precedent of saying that Republicans could go after President Obama or President Clinton or Democrats George W. Bush as a private citizen," Portman said.
Portman had previously stated that Trump has "some responsibility" for the January 6th uprising in the Capitol. He did not support Trump's efforts to scrap the 2020 election results and voted to maintain the certified January 6 election results and delayed the count.
Smith pressed Portman on what he thought was an appropriate punishment for Trump.
"A proper consequence, as I have said very clearly, is that people speak before, openly and during and after, and I think that it is also important that the House acted, so there have been consequences that way . " said Portman.
Portman announced that he will not seek re-election next year, but will serve his term until January 3, 2023. He said he "will not miss out on politics and partisanship, and that will get more difficult over time." ""