The second impeachment of former President Donald Trump is an “unconstitutional show trial” that is meant to “humiliate” the 45th president and shame the people who voted for him, Sen. Bill Hagerty told “Fox News @ Night” on Wednesday.
The Tennessee Republican, elected in November, argued there are other priorities the Senate should be focused on now that Trump has already left office.
He responded to the videos shown during the trial of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot by saying they were “painful” to watch, but that all Republican senators have condemned the violence.
SEN. BILL HAGERTY: “This is about politics, plain and simple. What’s happened is the Democrats have chosen to stop the work of the United States Senate in the middle of a pandemic, in the middle of a recession at a time that we’re going through a presidential transition. And what they’re doing is they’re putting us through an unconstitutional, in my view, an unconstitutional show trial. You know, the remedy for impeachment is removal from office. President Trump is no longer the president, the chief justice isn’t presiding, Trump is a private citizen. And they are continuing to pursue this because really what the aim is, I think, is to humiliate President Trump, to discredit his policies and to shame the 74 million people who voted for him into conformity.
Watching the videos is very painful. The violence that occurred that day was immediately condemned by me and by every other member of the Republican conference. In fact, I don’t know a single senator who didn’t condemn that violence. And in fact, over 200 people are now being prosecuted under criminal statutes for the violence that took place that day. That’s the venue to deal with this, the civil laws, the criminal laws for private citizens to be dealt with. It’s not an unconstitutional impeachment trial. That’s not what the Senate should be designed for. We’ve got serious work to be doing, instead, we’re going through a political partisan show trial.
House impeachment managers unloaded a new trove of footage showing lawmakers making their narrow escapes from the rioters.
“We’re here to count the f—ing votes,” a rioter could be heard shouting in one clip. “Where are they counting the f—ing votes?” another one said.
The clips also showed then-Vice President Mike Pence’s being rushed from the building and Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman turning Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, around just before he ran into a group of rioters.
Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Penn., noted that during Trump’s “Save America” rally speech, he told protesters to go down to the Capitol to “peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.” She said it was the only time he used the word “peaceful” in the speech. Hours earlier, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows had hit Democrats for “conveniently” leaving the line out.
Fox News’ Morgan Phillips contributed to this report.