Sullivan: Trump impeachment trial has potential for fairness
U.S. Sen Dan Sullivan wouldn’t say how he will vote in the Senate’s pending impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, but he said there are ways to give the country confidence it will be fair.
In a wide ranging interview with KTVA, Sullivan said the Senate can ensure a fair trial by relying on history as the blueprint, like that used in former President Bill Clinton's trial; Clinton was acquitted on two charges sent from the House.
“The Senate’s role in this, if you look at the Constitution, if you look at the Federalist papers, is really the deciding body that makes the decision,” he said. “So, of course, I’m going to take my Constitutional responsibilities very, very seriously."
"I’m already doing a lot of studying of not just history, but previous speeches, previous impeachment trials, what the precedents that were set back then. And, related to that, the one thing that I have been advocating for and I think most senators, Democrats and Republicans, want is they recognize it’s the responsibility for the Senate to have a full and fair trial."
Sullivan said that would be in contrast to what happened in the House.
“I didn’t follow it too closely, but I think it was very clear that that wasn’t a fair trial," he said. "That was the most rushed, partisan and unfair impeachment inquiry in modern U.S. history.”
Sullivan has been on record with problems he’s had with how the House handled its process, but he would not commit to how he would vote in the upcoming trial.
“I have mentioned some of my doubts about the case, but now that it’s coming over to the Senate, I’m not going to kind of walk through all of those right now,” he said. “I do have concerns also about the precedent that this could set. I think a lot of senators think about this.”
Sullivan said he's worried about setting a precedent that can lead to partisan-driven impeachment proceedings for future presidents, perhaps even every two years.
"To me right now what I think is important is making sure that we move to a place where, unlike what happened in the House, we have a full and fair procedure that most Americans and Alaskans can say when it's over, 'alright the Senate did its constitutional duty,’" he said.
Copyright 2019 KTVA. All rights reserved.