Lee at odds with Romney on whether impeachment of a former POTUS is constitutional

U.S. Senators Mike Lee and Mitt Romney
Posted at 4:53 PM, Jan 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-26 20:39:38-05

WASHINGTON — Utah's two U.S. senators have opposite opinions on whether impeaching former President Donald Trump is constitutional.

Sen. Mike Lee issued a statement Tuesday saying that the Senate doesn't have impeachment jurisdiction over former officials.

“If the Senate were to adopt a broad interpretation of the impeachment power — one allowing federal officials to be convicted on impeachment charges even after leaving office — the result would not only be problematic, but also contrary to the most natural reading of the text, structure and historical understanding of the Constitution," Lee said.

His statement comes the day after the House of Representatives officially delivered the article of impeachment to the Senate.

It also puts him at odds with Sen. Mitt Romney, who said the complete opposite on Sunday.

WATCH: Romney speaks in favor of continuing impeachment trial, possibly convicting Trump

Romney said he's studied law review articles that show holding an impeachment trial for a former president is constitutional.

He even seemed to lean toward voting in favor of convicting Trump, who is accused of inciting the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol as Congress was voting to confirm President Joe Biden's electoral victory.

"I believe that what is being alleged and what we saw — which is incitement to insurrection — is an impeachable offense. If not, what is?" Romney said.

Romney was the lone Republican senator who voted for Trump's removal last year when the then-president was impeached the first time. The Senate ultimately acquitted him that time.

Trump was impeached again by the House on Jan. 13, making him the first president to be impeached twice.

The Senate trial is set to begin Feb. 9.