January 26, 2021

WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today joined 44 of his Senate colleagues in declaring the impeachment trial of Donald Trump unconstitutional on the grounds that he is a private citizen no longer in office.

“The Constitution is clear that holding an impeachment trial of a former president, former official, or – more specifically – a private citizen, is unconstitutional and that the Senate should not go down this path. Donald Trump is no longer in office and is now a private citizen. Impeachment is intended to be the legislative branch’s check on the executive and judicial branches of government- not a check on our constituency.

“Our Founding Fathers did not intend to put private citizens on trial in the Senate. Why, then, would we hold an impeachment trial of which the immediate consequence upon conviction – removal from office – is something that has already happened? Removal from office implies that the subject to be impeached must be in office. It doesn’t make sense.”

Article 2, Section 4, of the U.S. Constitution states: “The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for and Conviction of Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” Donald Trump is neither the President, Vice President, nor is he a civil officer of the United States.