At 7 p.m. Monday night, just as she did last January, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her impeachment managers will walk through the Capitol Rotunda, the site of the recent storming, and to the Senate chamber to deliver one single article of impeachment against former President Donald Trump — for inciting an insurrection.
The trial itself commences the week of Feb. 8.
It may be another exercise in partisanship, as the 18 Republican votes that would be needed to convict the former president appear to be lacking.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said, “I think the trial is stupid. I think it’s counterproductive. We already have a flaming fire in this country, and it’s like taking a bunch of gasoline and pouring it on top of the fire.”
Democrats see impeaching and convicting the former president as vital to keep him from running again.
California Rep. Eric Swalwell said, “The person who led those terrorists to their chamber was Donald Trump. He invited them there. He lit the match, as Liz Cheney said, that led to the attack. And so, this for many of them will be the last off-ramp — the last chance to pass judgment and hold Donald Trump accountable.”
Republican Mitt Romney of Utah was the sole Republican to vote to convict Trump in the first impeachment trial, an act that made him the target of hecklers as he flew to Washington before the mob descended on the Capitol.
Romney said, “Well, I’m going to be a Senate juror, and as a result of that, I’ll listen to the arguments both by the prosecution as well as by the defense; we haven’t heard those yet. I’ll read the briefs, and I’ll make a decision, and I will make a decision based upon the facts of the evidence as is presented.”
Whatever the outcome, the Senate trial may have unpredictable and long-lasting implications.
For Democrats, there is a risk of what goes around comes around. The midterm elections are less than two years away now. And in history, the president’s own party has gained seats only seven times in midterm elections. If Republicans were to regain control of both houses of Congress, how vengeful might they be?
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