MSNBC host Chuck Todd on Thursday fact-checked Rep. Nancy Mace’s (R-S.C.) reasoning for not convicting former President Donald Trump at the end of his ongoing Senate impeachment trial.
Mace repeatedly argued it would be “unconstitutional” to do so because “impeaching a president who’s no longer president has never been done in this country.”
But that doesn’t matter: Trump was president when he was impeached by the House of Representatives on Jan. 13. Democrats are now seeking to convict him on a single charge of incitement of insurrection, barring him from holding future office.
On Tuesday, the Senate voted 56-44 that the trial was constitutional and could proceed.
“You keep saying that. Congresswoman, that is not the fact of the case. He was president of the United States when he was impeached. He is an impeached president even if he’s convicted,” Todd told his guest.
“The constitutionality question has also been answered by the U.S. Senate,” he added. “Because our Constitution says the following: The U.S. Senate handles all impeachment trials, and it is up to them. And they have said this is constitutional, so, I know it’s your opinion that it is not. But now that it has been deemed constitutional, and he has been impeached, what do you do?”
“Well, if prosecutors do believe that he incited an attack on the Capitol,” Mace replied, “there’s a criminal court where they can file charges in this instance, would be another option.”
Earlier in the segment, Mace said she was brought to her knees by footage shown at the trial Wednesday of the harrowing events of Jan. 6, when a mob of violent pro-Trump extremists swarmed the Capitol seeking to overturn the results of the election and hurt lawmakers.
“I felt physically ill, I cried when I watched it.” she said. She agreed that “rhetoric does have consequences” and can lead to violence, citing alleged threats she received from voters on both sides of the aisle.
“These are really trying and divisive times,” she said. “We have to be accountable for our words.”
But when asked about Trump’s role in inciting the violence, Mace said she voted against his impeachment last month because it “eliminated due process” and would set a bad precedent.
Mace, who was sworn in last month, made headlines last week when she accused Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) of lying when the New York congresswoman publicly recounted her experience during the Capitol siege.
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