The historic second impeachment of former president Donald Trump set up yet another showdown between Democrats, who would like Trump to be held accountable, and Republicans, who say they believe a former president cannot be impeached (even though he was impeached before he left office, and Mitch McConnell had the power to reconvene the Senate to begin the trial before Biden’s inauguration as well).
What you shouldn’t expect is a conviction. Republicans have shown little stomach for asking Trump to take responsibility for his (many) crimes in office, and they are expected to acquit the former president a second time. There are rumblings that as many as five to ten Republicans will join a more-than-likely unanimous Democrat vote to convict.
During a vote on whether or not the trial should move forward at all, most Republicans voted “no.”
Susan Collins (S-Maine) said, “Do the math.”
The strength of the case against Trump is stronger than any impeachment case in history, and some Democrats have said that if Trump is not convicted, the impeachment clause might as well be scrapped. The representatives and senators were there on the day of the capitol riot — in fact, they were the targets. To think that any among them could vote to acquit is unthinkable.
A House impeachment brief said that “terrified members [of Congress] were trapped in the Chamber; they prayed and tried to build makeshift defenses while rioters smashed the entryway … some Members called loved ones for fear that they would not survive the assault by President Trump’s insurrectionist mob.”
One year ago, Senator Mitt Romney was the only Republican to vote with Democrats to convict the then-president Trump of abuse of power while in office. He is expected to make the same vote for a second time.
Almost more than a year ago, Romney said, “As a Senator-juror, I swore an oath, before God, to exercise ‘impartial justice.’ I am a profoundly religious person. I take an oath before God as enormously consequential.”