(WSYR-TV) — Syracuse Congressman John Katko — in his first television interview since the impeachment of Donald Trump — says the case against the former president looks strong and the Senate needs to move forward now with the trial.
Katko, a former federal prosecutor, was the first House Republican to say he would vote to impeach Trump for inciting the deadly insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Only nine other republicans joined him in voting to impeach Trump.
Katko is the guest on this week’s Newsmakers with Dan Cummings.
Dan Cummings: Do you think the Senate should vote to convict him and therefore in a second vote, prevent him from ever holding office again?
John Katko: I think it’s really important that they have the trial. Because people are saying there wasn’t due process. Well, you don’t get due process before you’re charged. Oftentimes, I never told the bad guys — especially the very bad guys — when I was coming or when we were going to arrest them. That’s dangerous for us to do that. We didn’t do that. The due process comes afterward. He’s going to have his day in court. If he wants to prove that he’s innocent of these charges, he has every right to do so. He’s going to have the trial, so his due process rights will be protected. Based on the facts I’ve seen, there’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that the case is pretty substantial against him and he’s got a lot of work to do if he’s going to try and survive this.
Dan Cummings: So you’re thinking he should be convicted based on the evidence you’ve seen?
John Katko: Based on what I saw, there’s certainly plenty of it to go to trial. And unless something dramatic happens during the trial that I was not aware of, I think he’s got an uphill road to hoe, that’s for sure.
Dan Cummings: You think it’s better for the country and for the Republican Party itself if he is convicted and can never hold office again?
John Katko: You know, that’s a political calculus and we’ll let people figure that out. I think that there is law. That law needs to be followed and the facts need to be applied to that law. And that’s what we need to do right now. I think that the Republican Party, in general, has got to look itself in a mirror and see what we really stand for and this is our time of reckoning going forward.