WASHINGTON -- Heritage Foundation President Kay C. James issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Senate’s acquittal of President Donald J. Trump:
The U.S. House’s handling of the impeachment of President Donald Trump has inflicted serious damage to America’s constitutional system of government. Impeachment is one of the most important checks on presidential power, and it is reserved for only the most serious offenses. Over the past months, it has been abused by members of Congress. We at The Heritage Foundation are pleased that the Senate has put an end to this process.
When Congress uses impeachment as a political weapon, it has the potential of stripping an enormous amount of constitutional authority from the presidency and shifting it to Congress. The House created a new precedent where future executives could feel compelled to run major decisions – even ones that are solely in the president’s purview – by Congress to avoid the threat of impeachment. We are hopeful that with today’s acquittal, such a precedent will not be followed and the framework of the Constitution has been preserved for future generations.
This impeachment of President Trump never warranted the time, attention, and resources that Congress spent on it, and the process has only served to further divide the country at a time when we desperately needed unity. Now, the president and members of Congress must put their personal differences aside and do the hard work of legislating on America’s most pressing issues and fighting for the interests of the American people.