House and Senate leaders, concerned recent moves by Donald Trump could cause lasting damage to the United States, say it might be necessary to remove the President from office before he’s given due process because going through impeachment and then a vote to remove him would take too long.
“We like taking his office first and going through due process second,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters after meeting with a bi-partisan group of leaders from the House and Senate. “Think of a crazy person holding a gun. You want to take the gun first and give him due process later.”
McConnell said lawmakers don’t have a lot of time because the President is about to launch a trade war, which is expected to lead to retaliatory measures from many countries, including many allied countries, and the midterm elections are coming up and the President has yet to order action against efforts Russia has already taken to destabilize the process.
“Do we think the President is owed due process? Of course,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). “Due process is his right under the constitution, just like keeping and bearing arms is a right under the constitution. But to be prudent, we might have to act first and provide due process later.”
Echoing McConnell’s remarks, Ryan said it wouldn’t be much different than, say, taking away the guns of a person who is emotionally unstable and giving that person due process after he no longer poses a threat. “You want to deal with the threat first and then make sure all the I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed as enumerated in the due process clause of the constitution.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said no one is talking about taking away the President’s office without following proper procedures. “As Speaker Ryan said, taking away an unstable person’s gun before giving that person due process is a good example of what we’re talking about,” Pelosi said. “Think of the President as, say, a crazy person with an AR-15. You want to get that gun out of his hands and then give him due process. In the time it takes to go through impeachment and then a Senate vote, he could cause a lot of damage to the country. Once the gun is out of his hands, so to speak, we can give him all the due process he’s entitled to. I think the President would agree with that. It sounds like an idea he would appreciate.”
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