Friday on FNC’s “Hannity,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) questioned the validity of the impeachment process underway against President Donald Trump now that he has left office.
Paul argued there were other instances of where the standard of incitement could be used against sitting members of Congress, including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and questioned if Chief Justice John Roberts would show up to preside over the U.S. Senate’s impeachment trial.
Partial transcript as follows:
HANNITY: Immigration, amnesty, Paris accords, impeachment — you know, this is a pretty radical change for the country. And every step of the way, what I see is losing jobs, costing billions if not trillions over time and a waste of money. And yet somehow, I guess America wasn’t fully informed and now, D.C. statehood on top of it.
PAUL: Well, here’s the real question about impeachment. If they’re going to impeach people who incite violence, I have a question, are they going to impeach Bernie Sanders? You remember the guy who shot Steve Scalise? Steve Scalise almost died. I was there at the ball field when he was shot.
The guy was a rabid Bernie Sanders supporter. And you remember what Democrats were saying at the time? They were saying Republicans health care plan is you get sick and then you die.
That sounds like an incitement. If you’re telling people that the Republican Party is going to kill you, why wouldn’t you then react violently and say we must kill them before they kill us?
Now, I don’t propose, I’m not serious about this. I don’t think Bernie Sanders should be impeached.
But if you follow the logic that the president saying go fight for your country is somehow to be taken literally, even though he used the words peacefully, you’d have to examine Bernie Sanders’ language because one of his rabid supporters almost killed Steve Scalise.
What about Cory Booker? Booker said, get up in their face, get up in their face. Is that to be taken literally or figuratively, Cory?
HANNITY: Well, you got Maxine Waters. I’m going to take Trump out tonight.
Biden, I’m going to take him out to the back of the gym and beat the hell out of him.
Or Kamala Harris after the police precinct was burned out in Minneapolis, the riots there. We’re not going to stop, they shouldn’t stop, we shouldn’t stop and on from there. And you better take note, you better — you better beware.
Schumer on the steps of the Supreme Court threatening Gorsuch and Kavanaugh.
So, from my position, you know, I think that whatever that you want to call this impeachment show, number one, I don’t think the Senate should validate this corrupt one-week process with no due process. Constitutionally — I don’t think it’s constitutional, Senator. Then, of course, the argument will be —
HANNITY: — if that — if that’s your standard, we’ll use it against you.
PAUL: And here’s the thing, Sean. The story is now that chief justice will not appear, the chief justice doesn’t appear to say that the Constitution says, he should appear for impeachment of the president. If the chief justice isn’t coming, I think it’s an illegitimate procedure and it isn’t a real impeachment. It’s going to be a fake partisan impeachment.
But the story is, that the chief justice is not going to be asked. But the reason he’s not going to be asked is he’s privately said he’s not supposed to come unless it’s an impeachment of the president.
So, this is an illegitimate procedure and even the chief justice of the Supreme Court who’s not a rabid Trump person, who’s actually if anything sort of in the middle, he is now saying this is illegitimate because I’m not getting in the middle of this, and I’m not coming over for this.
So, that should tell people a lot of things, the chief justice of the Supreme Court is not coming over because it’s not an impeachment of the president which is what the Constitution says.
HANNITY: I agree with your statements, huge mistake, destroy the Republican Party. If Republican leadership goes along with this, they would destroy the party. There would be primary challenges in 2022 for everybody that went along with this, and you know, I just don’t think it will happen. It certainly shouldn’t happen.
You know Mitch McConnell better than anyone, he has — he’s the leader in the Senate. Apparently, had a call and every indication was he thinks it’s unconstitutional or am I reading into that?
PAUL: You know, I can’t characterize the private call, but all I can say is Kentucky, 63 percent of us voted for the president. We listened to the speech, we’ve watched it, and we don’t think politicians can be responsible when crazy people do crazy things.
The thing is, is, I think people need to write letters to Senator McConnell and call his office and let him know how you feel.
People in Washington do listen and this is something that is under- appreciated. If you email Senator McConnell and you call him, 30 GOP county chairs have sent a letter to him saying they don’t think we should be for impeachment. I don’t know how he will come down on this, but I know that this is a partisan thing and even the chief justice the Supreme Court doesn’t think it’s legitimate.
So, yes, we need to make sure this doesn’t happen because this is a terrible precedent and if we do this, if we say, oh, the president’s speech incited violence, we need to examine then Bernie Sanders speech and Cory Booker’s speech and Maxine Water’s speech.
HANNITY: I agree.
PAUL: That’s not a road — that’s not a road we should go down, but if you use the logic they’re using against Trump, they would have to look in the mirror and look at all the times they’ve said, go fight, win, get up in their face, throw their food on the floor, assault them in restaurants, yell and scream at them, all the stuff that happened to my wife and I.
You know, if they’re going to — if they’re going to say Trump incited that, they need to look at all of their speeches, and I think what you’d find is no, they only want to look at Trump. They don’t want to look in the mirror.
HANNITY: And the reason you don’t have a snap impeachment because even “The Washington Post” and fake news CNN are reporting, oh, all indications are, even court filings are now showing this was pre-planned by a bunch of people that organized, and we better get a 9/11 style commission on this because this can’t happen in our country, Senator. That’s something all good people agree on.
Senator, thank you.