'We Have Precedent': Klobuchar Points to a Little-known Impeachment Case

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Posted: Jan 24, 2021 11:30 AM
'We Have Precedent': Klobuchar Points to a Little-known Impeachment Case

Source: AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool

As Democrats move forward with their push to impeach former President Donald Trump, many have wondered about the constitutionality of the move. After all, the Constitution talks about the removal of a sitting president, not going after one once he or she left office. According to Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, there's precedent to back up what her party is doing.

“It is constitutional. We have precedent from way back when a secretary of War was tried after he had left office. And, obviously, there was a remedy that would help in the future, which would ban former President Trump from running again,” she told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos.

Klobuchar is referring to War Secretary William Belknap who resigned before his impeachment trial began. He was accused of receiving kickbacks from those he appointed. Despite that, the House voted to impeach him and the Senate pressed on with their trial. Ultimately, the majority of the Senate voted to convict but the two-thirds threshold that's required was not. He was ultimately acquitted. 

The Minnesota senator is unsure whether or not Democrats in the Senate will be able to garner enough support from Republicans to convict Trump. Many Republicans have not committed themselves one way or another.

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"As if it's not enough that he sent an angry mob down the mall to invade the Capitol, didn't try to stop it and a police officer was killed. I don't really know what else you need to know," she explained. "The facts were there, we saw it right there on the platform during the inauguration as you can still see the spray paint at the bottom of many of the columns."

The Senate impeachment trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 8.