Diminishing the chances of the former President’s impeachment, more GOP Senators have taken to oppose the second trial on the charges of “incitement of insurrection”.
House Democrats, who will today walk the impeachment charge of “incitement of insurrection” were hoping to receive support from their Republican counterparts after the Jan. 6 Capitol siege that brought on the second impeachment trial for Donald Trump. If passed, the trial will translate into a conviction and a separate vote to bar former President Trump from holding office again.
This being said, now that Trump’s presidency is over, Republican senators who will serve as jurors in the trial are rallying to his legal defense, as they did during his first impeachment trial last year. An early vote to dismiss the trial probably would not succeed, given that Democrats now control the Senate. Still, the Republican opposition indicates that many GOP senators would eventually vote to acquit Trump. Democrats would need the support of 17 Republicans — a high bar — to convict him.
“I think the trial is stupid, I think it’s counterproductive,” said Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.. He said that “the first chance I get to vote to end this trial, I’ll do it” because he believes it would be bad for the country and further inflame partisan divisions.
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said he didn’t believe the Senate had the constitutional authority to convict Trump after he had left office. On Sunday, Cotton said “the more I talk to other Republican senators, the more they’re beginning to line up (behind that argument). I think a lot of Americans are going to think it’s strange that the Senate is spending its time trying to convict and remove from office a man who left office a week ago.”
Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., said he believes a trial is a “moot point” after a president’s term is over, “and I think it’s one that they would have a very difficult time in trying to get done within the Senate.”
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, had tweeted on Saturday: “If it is a good idea to impeach and try former Presidents, what about former Democratic Presidents when Republicans get the majority in 2022? Think about it and let’s do what is best for the country.”
Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., said Democrats were sending a message that “hatred and vitriol of Donald Trump is so strong” that they will hold a trial that stops Biden’s policy priorities from moving. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., suggested Democrats are choosing “vindictiveness” over national security as the new president tries to set up his administration.