Grassley says he will reserve judgment on impeachment until after trial

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said he would weigh the arguments from both sides of the trial now that the Senate has voted to proceed.


Katie Goodale

U.S Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, speaks with the Daily Iowan staff after a visit to Mercy Hospital on July 2, 2019.

Caleb McCullough, Managing Editor

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said Wednesday his vote on whether or not to convict former President Donald Trump of inciting an insurrection will not hinge on whether or not the trial is constitutional, now that the Senate has decided to move forward with the trial.

“The Senate will proceed to trial regardless,” Grassley said. “As I have in the past, I will do my duty sitting as a juror.”

Grassley didn’t offer much details in a call with reporters on whether he thinks Trump is guilty, and he said he would weigh the arguments in the upcoming trial proceedings.

Grassley said he had been stopped several times by reporters asking for commentary on the trial, but he said he is hesitant to offer any comments as the trial is ongoing.

“I’m not going to give any television testimony until after the trial is ended because I think you reserve judgment as any juror would do,” he said.

Wednesday marks the second day of Trump’s second impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate, when arguments for and against the former president’s guilt will begin in earnest. Trump is charged with inciting an insurrection on Jan. 6, when pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol while Congress was counting electoral votes, causing five deaths.

On Tuesday, most of the argument was over whether or not convicting a former president was constitutional.

The Senate voted 56-44 to proceed with the trial, with both of Iowa’s Republican senators, Grassley and Joni Ernst, voting against it.

Grassley said his vote was based on the fact that the Constitution specifies that judgment in impeachment is limited to removal from office and disqualification of holding future office, but since Trump is no longer president, the procedure isn’t valid.

According to a Congressional Research Services report, most scholars say a president can be impeached after they leave office.

The trial will continue throughout the week, and Grassley said on Tuesday he thinks the trial could wrap up by the weekend or early next week.