Sen. Joe Manchin is denouncing the House Democrat-led effort to impeach President Trump in the days before he leaves office, calling it “so ill-advised.”
Speaking to Fox News’ “Special Report” Monday evening, Manchin (D-W.Va.) made the comments after being asked if he saw any scenario in which the Senate, still currently in GOP control, would try and convict the outgoing president in his final days.
The West Virginia Democrat, who will become one of the most influential senators in the next Congress as a moderate in a tightly divided body, said he saw no possibility of that happening in the current Senate.
“We’ve been trying to send that message over [to the House]. They know the votes aren’t there,” Manchin said at the start of his answer.
“I think this is so ill-advised for Joe Biden to be coming in, trying to heal the country, trying to be the president of all the people when we are going to be so divided and fighting again. Let the judicial system do its job,” he continued.
The Senate Democrat went on to argue that as a country that respects “the rule of law,” which he called “the bedrock of who we are,” the legal system would handle the outgoing president appropriately.
“Let that take its place. Let the investigations go on and evidence come forth and then we will go forth from there. There is no rush to do this impeachment now, we can do it later if they think it’s necessary.”
Asked by host Bret Baier if there was any credibility to holding an impeachment trial once the president is out of office, Manchin turned back to what had occurred to spark such outrage at the commander-in-chief.
Members of Congress were forced to evacuate in gas masks Wednesday after hordes of Trump supporters overpowered Capitol Police and breached the building.
The chaos included an armed standoff outside the House of Representatives’ chamber and multiple deaths amid the chaos.
The Electoral College went 306-232 for President-elect Biden, but Trump has alleged that widespread fraud tipped the results in swing states.
Courts have rejected those claims, and Trump has refused to concede, though in the aftermath of the riots, he pledged a “peaceful transition of power.”
In the wake of the attack, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday that her chamber would move forward with legislation to impeach Trump.
Speaking to “60 Minutes” Sunday, Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she would personally prefer that the 25th Amendment be used to remove the commander-in-chief, but said “nothing is off the table.”
The House will first try to force Vice President Mike Pence and the cabinet to remove Trump by invoking the 25th Amendment, the speaker told House lawmakers in a letter sent Sunday evening.
If legislation to execute that is blocked by Republicans, which is expected, there will be a full House vote Tuesday, she said in the letter.
The House would then move to consider the article of impeachment. The date for an impeachment vote has not yet been set.
Rep. Ted Liu (D-Calif.) said on Twitter early Sunday evening that it had 210 co-sponsors in the House.
House Democratic Whip James Clyburn (D-SC), however, offered another potential path for Democrats to consider, saying during a “Fox News Sunday” appearance that the party might wait until after President Biden’s first 100 days in office to deliver impeachment articles to the Senate.
At that point, the upper chamber of Congress will be under Democratic control.
When asked by Baier about his pledge during a November appearance on the Fox News program to block major progressive legislative goals if Democrats retook the Senate, Manchin said he stood by it, adding, “It’s all the same. Nothing’s changed.”
During an interview on “Special Report” after the November election, Manchin made a promise to vote against any aggressively progressive legislation, such as packing the Supreme Court or ending the legislative filibuster.
“I’m a proud moderate conservative Democrat. Maybe there’s not many of us left, but I can tell you what this country wants is moderation,” he said.
Sen. Manchin calls impeachment effort against Trump ‘so ill-advised’ The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ New York Post.