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Senate Republican threatens impeachments of past Democratic presidents

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Senator John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas (File photo)

A prominent US Senate Republican has warned that Donald Trump’s second impeachment could result in the prosecution of former Democratic presidents if Republicans retake Congress in two years.

The warning by John Cornyn, a senator from Texas, comes as this month Trump became the first US president to be impeached twice.

“If it is a good idea to impeach and try former Presidents, what about former Democratic Presidents when Republicans get the majority in 2022?” Cornyn, a 19-year veteran of the Senate, said Saturday on Twitter.

“Think about it and let’s do what is best for the country,” he said in his post directed at Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Last week, with the support of 10 Republicans, the Democratic-controlled House voted to charge Trump over his role in the invasion on the Capitol on January 6 that left five people dead.

Trump was blamed for inciting an insurrection when the lawmakers were busy certifying the victory of Joe Biden in the disputed 2020 presidential election.

The bipartisan effort kicked off in the lower chamber of US Congress in a bid to remove Trump from office before his tenure ended on Wednesday.

Following the violence, members from both parties condemned the unprecedented attack, but later a number of Senate Republicans opposed Trump’s trial, which could lead to a vote blocking him from future office.

Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell proposed that former Trump's impeachment trial be delayed until mid-February.

McConnell proposed that the House send the impeachment charge to the Senate on Jan. 28, and that Trump be given two weeks after that to prepare his pre-trial brief, before the Senate trial starts.

Republicans argue that Trump needs time to prepare a defense against the charges and that the House moved quickly on impeachment. 

However, Schumer said Friday the House will deliver its article of impeachment to the Senate on Monday, rejecting McConnell’s request.

“The House will deliver the article of impeachment to the Senate. The Senate will conduct a trial of the impeachment of Donald Trump. It will be a full trial. It will be a fair trial,” he said.

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