Governor Hutchinson, who led the impeachment of Bill Clinton for not telling the truth about a sexual liaison, said on Fox News today that the House shouldn’t have impeached Donald Trump again for inciting a violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
“The impeachment is something that is both a legal equation, but it’s also a political equation, and I did not believe that with the remaining weeks that were left in President Trump’s term that that served our country well to go through the House impeachment,” Hutchinson said.
Now that the impeachment has taken place, however, Hutchinson said the Senate must hear the facts and legal arguments at a trial where “the outcome is unpredictable.”
While he was against the impeachment, the Republican Hutchinson said that Trump’s continued challenge of the election result “was wrong and did not serve our nation well,” pointing to the violent protest at the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6.
Asked about President Trump’s responsibility for the Jan. 6 riot, Hutchinson did not specifically blame the president but said Trump invited people to a rally, “used very aggressive language,” and “misled people as to … what happened during the election.”
There was plenty of time left in Trump’s term when he was first impeached. Hutchinson didn’t endorse that one either.
Hutchinson repeated earlier comments about the potential for violent activities at the Arkansas Capitol related to Joe Biden’s inauguration. He said security will be heightened but intelligence about planned activities at the Capitol hasn’t yet indicated the need to call for National Guard reinforcements.
“We are using civilian law enforcement, we have response teams there, will have beefed up presence at the Capitol for Tuesday,” he said. “We actually have a rally for today and there’s not – we don’t have any specific intelligence that there’s going to be violence associated with those rallies but we want to be extra precautious.”
Several dozen armed “militia” types have been turning out regularly at the Capitol in military gear and toting weapons in support of Trump.
Chris Wallace noted two Arkansans were among those arrested, Richard Barnett and Peter Stager. Hutchinson was asked if there was an “element” in Arkansas that poses a threat to the government. Yes, he said, as most states do.
When Wallace brought up the Clinton impeachment, he characterized the latest Trump impeachment as “much more consequential.”
CORRECTION NEEDED: When Wallace suggested Trump had damaged the Republican Party, Hutchinson said, besides the loss of the presidency the party had success at “every other level” and “gained seats.” He apparently forgot about the Democratic takeover of the Senate.
Asked about Arkansas’s delivery of COVID-19 vaccinations, he blamed shortcomings on lack of supply.