Sen. Bill Hagerty called the impeachment trial against former President Donald Trump political theater aimed at humiliating Trump, in an interview Wednesday with Nexstar’s Washington bureau.
The Tennessee Republican said the Senate trial was this is “an unconstitutional process and I think it’s got nowhere to go.”
“The remedy that’s called for is removal. How do remove a private citizen who’s in Mar-A-Lago right now?” Hagerty asked.
Hagerty, in his first term in the Senate, condemned the Jan. 6 violence at the Capitol, but said an impeachment trial was not the correct venue for prosecution.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn, the state’s other Republican senator, also addressed the impeachment trial on Twitter:
“Today’s impeachment trial is being staged for partisan political purposes as millions of families struggle to find jobs and make ends meet,” she wrote Tuesday. “Congressional Democrats are opening up a Pandora’s box and wasting tax dollars and legislative time in the process. This will not help rebuild trust with the American people.”
House Democrats on Wednesday, the second day of the hearings, formally began making their case that Trump should be convicted for inciting insurrection in last month’s violence at the U.S. Capitol that interrupted the presidential electoral count and left several people dead.
A two-thirds majority of the 100-member Senate would have to support the charge to convict Trump, meaning 17 Republicans would need to join all 50 Democrats in backing it. Only six Republican senators voted Tuesday afternoon that the trial was constitutional.
Hagerty also addressed school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic, saying schools need to get back open immediately. Shelby County Schools, Tennessee’s largest district, is remaining virtual for now.