United States Senator Joni Ernst was asked multiple times about her thoughts regarding the impeachment of President Donald J. Trump during Tuesday’s media call. Ernst said her position has not changed, that she is willing to listen to the arguments presented, but she still has questions about the constitutionality of trying a private citizen.
Asked for ways she believes the country can unite, Ernst said she doesn’t know that there is a way to do that.
“Especially with these actions,” she said. “And certainly we will have to look at the precedent this sets as well, trying to try a person who is a private citizen and the implications that that could have on future presidencies as well as former presidents.
President Trump, she said, exhibited “poor leadership” and should have come out sooner against what the crowd was doing on Jan. 6 at the United States Capitol.
“He didn’t do that soon enough,” Ernst said. “But does that mean he is guilty of inciting insurrection? And there is a very specific legal definition for that. I don’t believe that maybe it does meet that definition. Again, I’ll listen to those arguments, but the broader question is, is it constitutional.”
Asked another question about impeachment, Ernst focused on the constitutionality of the process once the President is no longer in office.
“If the President is truly guilty of something else, we have remedies through the courts for that,” she said. “If there truly is a case there, he can still be held accountable. Our role, of course, is to follow the Constitution and abide by our constitutional duties and that’s what we will continue to delve into over the next week.”
Ernst said President Joe Biden had a wonderful inauguration speech about unity and bringing people together, but his actions have not reflected his words.
She said his executive orders have been “very, very left-leaning liberal policies that will continue to divide the nation.”
“He’s done that without engaging members of Congress,” Ernst said. “Whether it’s that or continuing to see an impeachment of a private citizen move forward, it’s not bringing us together.”
Ernst also criticized Sen. Chuck Schumer for not agreeing on the filibuster and for being willing to do away with the minority party’s rights in the Senate.
“Even against President Trump, we upheld the minority rights in the Senate,” she said. “Chuck Schumer is being very divisive.”