Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) on Sunday defended the constitutionality of an impeachment trial for former President Trump after he has left office.
“Impeachment comes not only with the provision to remove an individual from office but to disqualify them from future office,” Murphy said on “Fox News Sunday.” “I don’t think our job ends just because the president has left office.”
The Connecticut senator also denied the trial prevented the Senate from conducting other business, noting confirmation hearings slated for the week ahead.
“This doesn’t stop the rest of the business, the Senate can walk and chew gum at the same time,” he said.
Fox News host Chris Wallace went on to ask Murphy about whether it would be appropriate for the Senate to call witnesses in the trial.
Murphy compared that to Trump's 2020 impeachment trial, saying “if the House managers want to call witnesses, I think we should allow them to do so,” but that in Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, “the American people didn’t’ see what happened.”
This year, however, “we saw what happened in real time, President Trump sent that angry mob to the Capitol on live TV, so it’s not as important that we have witnesses.”
Wallace asked Murphy to respond to comments by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who appeared in the previous segment, comparing Trump’s rhetoric to comments by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) in 2018 encouraging people to aggressively confront Trump administration personnel in public.
Murphy called the comparison a false equivalency, saying “There is no comparison … this was an effort to overturn an election, this was a crowd of tens of thousands of people. While the attack was happening, the president had the ability to turn them around and he didn’t. The circumstances are completely different.”