WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWNY) - As the impeachment trial of former President Trump got underway in the U.S. Senate, north country congresswoman Elise Stefanik called it unconstitutional.
“Democrats’ sham impeachment process violates every precedent & every principle of fairness followed in impeachment inquiries for more than 150 years,” Stefanik wrote on Twitter.
“Rather than unifying our country, this impeachment further divides the nation. This impeachment is unconstitutional.”
Stefanik is in the majority of Republican members of congress - 44 Republican senators voted Tuesday against proceeding with the trial - but she is in the minority when it comes to expert legal opinion.
More than 170 legal scholars, including many conservatives, signed a letter arguing the impeachment and trial of Trump, even though he’s left office, is constitutional.
That view is not unanimous, however; a minority of legal experts argue the trial now going on is not constitutional.
The politics of it are more clear; the north country voted for President Trump last November.
“She’s (Stefanik) very much aligned herself with the wing of the party that is loyal to the president, and it appears that she is going to continue to do so.,” said Alexander Cohen, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Clarkson University.
“Most Republicans are doing the same thing. It would be dangerous for many Republican incumbents to say ‘No President Trump has been wrong’ ‘I retract some of my support for him’ and let’s move on and moderate our policies.,” Cohen said.
“People are gonna double down. Everything suggests she will be part of that movement, and she’ll prosper from it politically, in my opinion.”
Stefanik’s statement that impeachment is unconstitutional is not new; she has taken that position since Democrats began talking about impeaching President Trump.