Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) on Tuesday outlined the stakes at the opening of former President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial, and he warned of dire consequences if the Senate failed to convict him.
Raskin began his argument by taking on the notion that it is unconstitutional for the Senate to convict a president who has already left office.
Raskin warned that adopting this precedent would allow an outgoing president two-and-a-half months after the end of an election to behave with total impunity.
"This would create a brand new 'January exception' to the Constitution of the United States of America," he said. "Everyone can see immediately why this is so dangerous: It's an invitation to the president to take his best shot at anything he may want to do on his way out the door, including using violent means to lock that door, to hang on to the Oval Office at all costs, and to block the peaceful transfer of power."
Raskin concluded that creating such a precedent would be a recipe for tyranny of the kind America's founders tried so hard to avoid when drafting the Constitution.
"The 'January exception; is an invitation to our Founders' worst nightmare," he said. "And if we buy this radical argument that President Trump's lawyers advance, we risk having January 6 become our future."
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