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Donald J. Trump Senate Impeachment Trial Page 1

Donald J. Trump has been impeached by the house will be tried in the Senate. Mitch McConnell (aka Moscow Mitch) and GOP Senators will make a mockery of our Republic to protect Donald J. Trump. Mitch McConnell (aka Moscow Mitch) and GOP Senators are giving Trump a pass read below to find out more. Trump will be the only president to be impeached twice both are related to the 2020 election. The first impeachment was for trying to force a foreign government to help him in the 2020 election. The second impeachment for inciting a riot that lead to the sacking of the United State Capitol in an attempt to steal the 2020 election.


Trump's Second Impeachment Trial:

The civil rights group brought the suit on behalf of Representative Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, with other Democrats in Congress expected to join as plaintiffs.
By Annie Karni

WASHINGTON — The N.A.A.C.P. on Tuesday morning filed a federal lawsuit against former President Donald J. Trump and his personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, claiming that they violated a 19th century statute when they tried to prevent the certification of the election on Jan. 6. The civil rights organization brought the suit on behalf of Representative Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi. Other Democrats in Congress — including Representatives Hank Johnson of Georgia and Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey — are expected to join as plaintiffs in the coming weeks, according to the N.A.A.C.P.

The lawsuit contends that Mr. Trump and Mr. Giuliani violated the Ku Klux Klan Act, an 1871 statute that includes protections against violent conspiracies that interfered with Congress’s constitutional duties; the suit also names the Proud Boys, the far-right nationalist group, and the Oath Keepers militia group. The legal action accuses Mr. Trump, Mr. Giuliani and the two groups of conspiring to incite a violent riot at the Capitol, with the goal of preventing Congress from certifying the election. more...

Ashley Collman

A House impeachment manager says Republican senators told her privately that she "made the case" to convict former President Donald Trump, but they still voted to acquit him. Del. Stacey Plaskett, a Democrat from the Virgin Islands, told CNN's Chris Cuomo on Monday about the interactions she had with unnamed Republican senators during Trump's second impeachment trial last week. "I had senators, even after we presented, who stopped me in the hallway, Republicans, who said that we had made the case, but yet they were going to vote to acquit the president," Plaskett said. Plaskett said she tried to win these senators over by saying they could vote to acquit Trump, but not vote to disqualify him from holding office in the future — a vote which would have taken place after conviction, and only requires a simple majority. more...

By COLLEEN LONG

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump’s acquittal at his second impeachment trial may not be the final word on whether he’s to blame for the deadly Capitol riot. The next step for the former president could be the courts. Now a private citizen, Trump is stripped of his protection from legal liability that the presidency gave him. That change in status is something that even Republicans who voted on Saturday to acquit of inciting the Jan. 6 attack are stressing as they urge Americans to move on from impeachment. “President Trump is still liable for everything he did while he was in office, as an ordinary citizen, unless the statute of limitations has run,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said after that vote. He insisted that the courts were a more appropriate venue to hold Trump accountable than a Senate trial. “He didn’t get away with anything yet,” McConnell said. “Yet.” The insurrection at the Capitol, in which five people died, is just one of the legal cases shadowing Trump in the months after he was voted out of office. He also faces legal exposure in Georgia over an alleged pressure campaign on state election officials, and in Manhattan over hush-money payments and business deals. more...

Opinion by Jennifer Rubin

We witnessed a historic confession of hypocrisy and deceit on Saturday when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) went to the floor after voting to acquit Donald Trump in the former president’s Senate impeachment trial. McConnell said, “Former President Trump’s actions [that] preceded the riot were a disgraceful, disgraceful dereliction of duty.” He added, “Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day.” But McConnell said he couldn’t vote to convict because the trial had come too late, after Trump was out office — even though it was McConnell himself who had kept the Senate out for the remainder of Trump’s term. McConnell suggested that a criminal prosecution of Trump could be in the cards, a stunning confession of how he regards the seriousness of the allegations and the extent of the evidence. The only saving grace is that McConnell will be forever remembered as the one who intentionally let someone worthy of criminal investigation get away. more...

*** Why do Republicans threaten or attack people who tell the truth or do what is right? What does that say about the Republican Party do what is right or tell the truth, and we will attack you? ***

Tucker Higgins

The seven Republican senators who joined all 50 Democrats in voting to convict former President Donald Trump of inciting the Jan. 6 riot in the Capitol are now facing heat from conservatives in their home states. Party leaders and local GOP officials, many seeking to curry favor with the broad swath of conservative voters still loyal to Trump, have condemned the 7 lawmakers for breaking ranks with the rest of the party. The critiques illustrate the strong hold that Trump continues to have over Republicans nationally in spite of his November loss and his subsequent refusal to concede defeat. Polling conducted after the attack on Congress last month continues to show Trump holds a sky-high approval rating among Republicans, and that about half of the GOP is primarily loyal to the ex-president himself, rather than the party. The Senate ultimately acquitted Trump on Saturday in a 57-43 vote after an unprecedented second impeachment trial. more...

Democrats won the impeachment witness fight when Trump’s team agreed to enter evidence of the call showing his dereliction of duty in the Capitol attack.
Norman Eisen and Katherine Reisner

Despite the shameful failure of 43 senators to honor their oaths, the outcome of the Senate impeachment trial offered hope for the cause of accountability for former President Donald Trump and others who backed the Big Lie that gave us the Jan. 6 insurrection: that the 2020 election was stolen. The denouement was by far the largest number of Republicans ever to cross party lines to convict a president of their own party in an impeachment trial. Seven did so, as opposed to the single such vote in Trump's prior impeachment.

When the trial resumed Saturday morning, it was expected that there would be no witnesses. Then a bipartisan 55-45 vote opened the door to the testimony from at least one person — Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Washington. She had information about a phone conversation in the middle of the insurrection in which Trump seemed to welcome the violent chaos — revealing his impeachable intent to incite the mob. Negotiations then led to a compromise: a “stipulation,” or agreement by both sides, that her statement about Trump’s bad intent would be admitted into the record. more...

Our View: Of the 100 Senate jurors who heard Donald Trump’s impeachment case, over 15 senators were more co-conspirators than independent judges.
The Editorial Board | USA TODAY

The fact that the Senate acquitted former President Donald Trump of inciting insurrection is a stain on America’s most prestigious legislative body. The facts were plain. But more than a stain, the Senate has a sickness as well. Of the 100 jurors who heard Trump’s impeachment case, at least 16 were more co-conspirators in Trump’s efforts to overturn a free and fair election than they were independent judges. Eight voted last month to overturn Joe Biden’s election victory — the precise outcome the Trump-inspired insurrectionists sought when they left his rally and marched to the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Josh Hawley of Missouri, Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi, John Neely Kennedy of Louisiana, Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, Roger Marshall of Kansas, Rick Scott of Florida and Tommy Tuberville of Alabama attempted to derail America’s centuries-old experiment in democracy. more...

The word "traitor" was spray-painted on the front of the attorney's driveway.
By Bill Hutchinson

Vandals targeted the home of one of former President Donald Trump's impeachment lawyers, spray-painting the word "TRAITOR" in red on his driveway in suburban Philadelphia, police said. The vandalism occurred around 8 p.m. on Friday at attorney Michael van der Veen's residence in West Whiteland Township, Pennsylvania, about 30 miles southwest of Philadelphia, according to police. No arrests have been made, Detective Scott Pezick of the West Whiteland Township Police Department told ABC News on Sunday afternoon. Pezick said private security has since been hired by the homeowner to protect the residence, and police presence has been beefed up in van der Veen's neighborhood. more...

Senate minority leader says Trump ‘practically and morally responsible’ for Capitol riot, but votes not guilty regardless
Amanda Holpuch

Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell said on Saturday that Donald Trump was “practically and morally responsible” for the insurrection at the US Capitol on 6 January – minutes after voting to acquit the former president in his impeachment trial for that very same act. McConnell, like the Senators who voted in favor of impeachment, was deeply critical of Trump’s conduct leading up to the attack. “They [the mob] did this because they’d been fed wild falsehoods by the most powerful man on Earth because he was angry he lost an election,” McConnell said. But McConnell argued the Senate could not convict Trump because he had left office before the Senate trial began – a timeline McConnell orchestrated as Senate majority leader after refusing Democrats’ requests to call the Senate into an emergency session in January. The House impeached Trump for a second time in his final days in office, but McConnell delayed starting the Senate trial until after Joe Biden was sworn in. McConnell said the Senate was not meant to serve as a “moral tribunal” and said Trump could still be open to criminal prosecution. more...

Trump acquitted, denounced in historic second impeachment trial
The Associated Press

Donald Trump was acquitted Saturday of inciting the horrific attack on the U.S. Capitol, concluding a historic second impeachment trial that spared him the first-ever conviction of a U.S. president but exposed the fragility of America’s democratic traditions -- and left a divided nation to come to terms with the violence sparked by his defeated presidency. The vote was 57-43 in favor of conviction, short of the required two-thirds majority. Seven Republicans broke from their party and joined all Democrats to vote in favor of finding Trump guilty. The Republicans voting to find Trump guilty were Sens. Richard Burr of North Carolina, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Patrick Toomey of Pennsylvania. Minnesota Sens. Tina Smith and Amy Klobuchar joined all their Democratic colleagues in supporting conviction. “The facts and the evidence were overwhelming — former President Donald Trump lied for months to his supporters, summoned them to Washington, and incited a violent insurrection against our government and our democracy,” Smith said in a written statement issued after the vote. “I voted to convict because no reasonable person could believe this would have happened without his betrayal.” more...

*** History will not be kind to Trump and the Republican Party. Once again, Republicans have violated their oath of office and voted once again to protect Trump. Republicans have shown repeatedly that the only care about law and order and our constitution when they are using it as a weapon against the democrats. ***

Domenico Montanaro

The U.S. Senate on Saturday acquitted former President Donald Trump on an impeachment charge of inciting an insurrection. The acquittal comes more than a month after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol as lawmakers were counting the electoral results that certified Trump's loss. Five people died in the riot, including a police officer. Two other officers later killed themselves. A majority of senators voted to convict Trump — 57 to 43, including seven Republicans. But two-thirds, or 67 votes, was needed to convict. It was the second time Trump was acquitted in an impeachment trial. The seven GOP senators who voted to convict Trump on Saturday were: Richard Burr of North Carolina, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania. Trump is the first president in U.S. history to be impeached by the House twice, and the first to be tried for impeachment after leaving office. more...

Lee shared his call log with the impeachment managers and Trump defense as the Senate trial neared conclusion Saturday.
By KYLE CHENEY

Donald Trump phoned Sen. Mike Lee two minutes after he tweeted an attack on Vice President Mike Pence, who had just fled the Senate chamber amid the Capitol insurrection, according to new evidence disclosed by House impeachment managers. Lee (R-Utah) shared his call log with the impeachment managers and Trump defense as the Senate trial neared conclusion Saturday. The record shows a White House call reaching Lee's phone at 2:26 p.m. on Jan. 6, two minutes after Trump's 2:24 p.m. tweet hitting Pence for lacking "courage" by refusing to stand in the way of Joe Biden's 2020 election victory. The former president's call was intended for Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) and was intended to encourage Tuberville to throw up more procedural roadblocks to Congress' certification of the election results. more...

*** History will not be kind to the Republican Party. Once again, Republicans have violated their oath of office and rigged the trial to protect Trump. Republicans have shown repeatedly that the only care about law and order and our constitution when they are using it as a weapon against the democrats. ***

Connor Perrett

Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas, said during an episode of his podcast that he advised former President Donald Trump's defense attorneys ahead of the impeachment trial, telling them they'd "already won" their case on behalf of the former president. "I said, look, you've gotta remember you've already won," Cruz said during a Friday episode of "Verdict," his podcast that launched in 2020 during the former president's first impeachment trial. CNN previously reported that three GOP senators, including Cruz, had met with Trump's legal team ahead of the Senate trial that began this week. Cruz said he believed that Democrats were far from achieving the 67 votes needed to convict, and instead said he told the president's lawyers there were anywhere from 53 to 57 votes to convict the former president, which would lead to an acquittal. more...

By Jordain Carney

House impeachment managers, former President Trump's legal team and top senators struck a deal on Saturday that will let the Senate bypass calling witnesses. The agreement comes after senators were caught flat-footed by a request from Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), the lead House impeachment manager, to depose Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.), who has hammered Trump for his actions after the Capitol attack on Jan. 6. Instead, the Senate entered a statement Herrera Beutler released on Friday night into the trial record. The move will allow the Senate to bypass calling witnesses — a process senators warned could prolong Trump's second impeachment trial for days if not longer. Herrera Beutler released a statement saying that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) had told her about his conversation with Trump on Jan. 6 as the riot was unfolding. more...

By Celine Castronuovo

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) on Friday evening following the fourth day of former President Trump’s impeachment trial said the Trump defense team’s response to questions from senators on details surrounding the former president’s response to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot was “an insult to all of our intelligence.” During an hours-long question-and-answer session on Friday, GOP Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) asked what “specific actions” Trump took after learning of the Capitol breach, urging his legal team to “be as specific as possible.” Trump’s lawyers were unable to say when specifically the former president found out that a mob had breached the Capitol but said that, based on his tweets, it was before 2:38 p.m. on Jan. 6. more...

By Celine Castronuovo

One of the lawyers on former President Trump’s impeachment defense team grew frustrated after senators began laughing at him during Saturday remarks when the attorney mispronounced “Philadelphia.” Michael van der Veen addressed the Senate after Democrats revived debate on whether to call witnesses for Trump’s impeachment trial, including virtually over Zoom. Trump’s attorney said that sworn testimony from leaders such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Vice President Harris should be done only in person. “A lot of depositions need to be happening,” he said. “None of these depositions should be done by Zoom.” He continued, “We didn’t do this hearing by Zoom. These depositions should be done in person, in my office, in Philadelphia," pronouncing the city as “Philly-delphia.” more...

by Jeremy Roebuck

Philadelphia attorney Michael T. van der Veen has taken a starring role in Donald Trump’s impeachment defense over the last two days — and he’s also incurred backlash. Vandals spray-painted “TRAITOR” on the driveway of his suburban Philadelphia home Friday night, after he spent hours on the Senate floor hurling partisan invective and testily condemning the former president’s second impeachment trial as “constitutional cancel culture.” A group of demonstrators calling him a “facist” gathered outside his Center City law office chanting, “When van der Veen lies, what do you do? Convict. Convict.” And when he returned to the Senate podium Saturday for a debate over whether witnesses would be called to testify about Trump’s mindset during the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, his suggestion that he would seek to depose at least 100 people at his office drew audible, bipartisan guffaws from the room — and set the internet ablaze. more...

After a couple hours of delay, the Senate reached a bipartisan deal to enter as evidence a statement from Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler.
By Alex Seitz-Wald

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Saturday began hearing closing arguments in former President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial after reaching a bipartisan deal to skip hearing witness testimony. Both sides have been eager to wrap up the trial, with Democrats needing Senate floor time to advance a Covid-19 relief package and Republicans wanting to put behind them the Jan. 6 Capitol riot Trump is accused of inciting. But shortly after the Senate reconvened Saturday, House impeachment managers made a surprise decision to request testimony from a Republican member of Congress who said Trump rejected a plea for help during the violence. The Senate voted mostly along party lines, 55 to 45, to begin the process of allowing witnesses to be considered. Five Republicans — Mitt Romney of Utah, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina — sided with Democratic senators on the motion. Trump's defense team fumed at the call for witnesses and vowed to demand "at least over 100 depositions" if Democrats brought any forward. After a couple hours delay, both sides agreed to a deal to enter a statement by Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., into the record as evidence. more...

There’s no doubt who must be held responsible for attacking the Capitol and trying to overturn the results of the election.
By The New York Times Editorial Board

If you fail to hold him accountable, it can happen again. This is the heart of the prosecution’s argument in the ongoing impeachment trial of Donald Trump. It is a plea for the senators charged with rendering a verdict not to limit their concerns solely to the events of Jan. 6, when a mob of Trump supporters sacked the U.S. Capitol, but also to act with an eye toward safeguarding the nation’s future. To excuse Mr. Trump’s attack on American democracy would invite more such attempts, by him and by other aspiring autocrats. The stakes could not be higher. A vote for impunity is an act of complicity. It is unfortunate that the country finds itself at this place at this moment, American pitted against American. But there is no more urgent task than recentering the nation’s political life as peaceful and committed to the rule of law. more...

A vote is expected this afternoon on whether to convict former President Donald Trump on a charge of inciting an insurrection on Jan. 6. Trump, who left office on Jan. 20, is the first U.S. president to be impeached twice and the first to face trial after leaving office. If convicted, the Senate could vote to bar him from running for office again. video...

Former president Donald Trump's legal team argued House managers took Trump's remarks out of context and shared misleading videos of their own. video...

Any remaining hope for conviction lies in one final move House managers could make: insisting that the Senate call witnesses.
By Claire O. Finkelstein, Algernon Biddle professor of law and professor of philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania and Richard W. Painter, former chief ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush

The Senate sat in stunned silence this week as House managers showed chilling footage of the takeover of the Capitol by an angry mob of armed insurrectionists attempting to stop the certification of the 2020 presidential election. No one watching could doubt the gravity of the threat U.S. lawmakers faced on Jan. 6, as well as the peril to U.S. democracy. At the same time, Justice Department filings indicate that at least some of the rioters believed they were doing the bidding of President Donald Trump. Jessica Watkins, a member of the militia group the Oath Keepers, said she was “awaiting direction from President Trump.” Back in November, Watkins wrote in a text message to an associate that “POTUS has the right to activate units too. If Trump asks me to come, I will,” she said. And then she did. more...

LA Times

To the editor: In former President Trump’s second impeachment trial, we are seeing firsthand that it’s not enough merely to condemn a bigot and would-be tyrant. Trump said loudly and clearly what he stood for. He is the only president I ever heard condemn entire cities because the mayors were Democrats. He was not president of the United States; he was president only of the Republican states. On Jan. 6, we got the consequences of what we ignored for too long. The insurrectionists are being hunted down and charged, but what about the insurrectionist in chief? And what about Fox News and all the other right-wing media that spread Trump’s lies? They are just as guilty. This didn’t just suddenly happen on Jan. 6.; it had been building for years, aided by everyone who supported Trump and the rest of us who laughed at him because he was great fodder for comedians and not someone who should have been taken seriously. Well, surprise surprise. more...

CNN's Daniel Dale fact-checks several claims made by former President Donald Trump's defense attorneys during his second impeachment trial. video...

By Jamie Gangel, Kevin Liptak, Michael Warren and Marshall Cohen, CNN

Washington (CNN) In an expletive-laced phone call with House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy while the Capitol was under attack, then-President Donald Trump said the rioters cared more about the election results than McCarthy did. "Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are," Trump said, according to lawmakers who were briefed on the call afterward by McCarthy. McCarthy insisted that the rioters were Trump's supporters and begged Trump to call them off. Trump's comment set off what Republican lawmakers familiar with the call described as a shouting match between the two men. A furious McCarthy told the then-President the rioters were breaking into his office through the windows, and asked Trump, "Who the f--k do you think you are talking to?" according to a Republican lawmaker familiar with the call. mode...

Impeachment managers and former President Donald Trump's defense team are asked whether or not they believe Trump's claim that the 2020 election was rigged against him and that he actually won. video...

Ryan Pickrell

In an impeachment trial video of the Capitol riots, former Vice President Mike Pence can be seen being rushed to safety as a military aide follows with what multiple experts identified as a "nuclear football." The video, which was presented on Wednesday by House impeachment manager Del. Stacey Plaskett on the second day of the Senate impeachment trial, shows Pence, Secret Service, a military aide and other officials being quickly evacuated as the mob forced its way into the Capitol nearby. The rioters, some of whom were heard shouting 'Hang Mike Pence!" after a tweet from the president, came within 100 feet of Pence's position at one point, The Washington Post reported. That puts the violent mob alarmingly close to the "football" following Pence. more...

CNN

CNN asked Sen. Mitt Romney how his family reacted to the video presented by House impeachment managers yesterday. The video showed Officer Eugene Goodman leading Romney away from the mob that had breached the Capitol, potentially saving his life. "I don't think my family or my wife understood that I was as close as I might have been to real danger, and they were surprised, and very, very appreciative of officer Goodman and his being there and directing me back to safety," he said. Romney reiterated he was headed to his Capitol hideaway after getting a text from staff warning that protestors had breached the building. more...

Impeachment manager Rep. Diana Degette (D-CO) used videos and comments from rioters who attacked the US Capitol on January 6 to argue that they were following the words of former President Donald Trump. video...

*** Republicans are at it again they are helping Trump to rig the trial to get Trump off. ***

By Daniel Villarreal

On Thursday, three Republican Senators—Ted Cruz of Texas, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Mike Lee of Utah—reportedly met with former President Donald Trump's impeachment defense attorneys, according to Cruz and Trump attorney David Schoen. Schoen called the three senators "very friendly," a comment which raised eyebrows seeing as senators are often thought to serve as impartial jurors during impeachment trials. In other criminal and civil trials, jurors are forbidden from meeting with or expressing overt favor to lawyers involved in the case. Schoen claimed that the senators met with them to ensure that they were "familiar with procedure" before offering their opening arguments on Friday in rebuttal to the House impeachment managers' case, CNN reported. Schoen considered the mid-trial meeting to be appropriate, adding, "I think that's the practice of impeachment... There's nothing about this thing that has any semblance of due process whatsoever." more...

Alana Wise

Senators on both sides of the aisle were visibly affected by graphic and explicit new footage showing first-person perspective of the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot, as House impeachment managers continue to make their case for convicting former President Donald Trump for inciting a mob. "It was really horrifying what happened. You know, I think the House team really put forth a very strong connecting of the dots. I don't see how you can watch any of this and listen to their presentation and not conclude that Trump bears tremendous responsibility for what happened," Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, told reporters. "You cannot help but be terribly affected by what happened here," she said. more...

Deirdre Walsh

House impeachment managers had senators riveted on Wednesday to disturbing new security camera video that showed just how close the rioters that breached the U.S. Capitol came to lawmakers in the House and Senate chambers. Wednesday's images, from several angles outside the chambers and in hallways outside leadership offices, showed one Capitol police officer run past Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney and direct him to turn around and run, as rioters were closing in on that location just off the Senate floor. Ominously, the video also showed staffers for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi move to hide behind a door in what is typically a secure office suite that minutes later was overrun by a mob that repeatedly tried to break down that same door. Wednesday was the first of two days for the nine managers to present their case. After they finish on Thursday, the floor turns to Trump's defense. more...

Never-before-seen videos of rioters breaking into the capitol were shown on the second day of former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial. Rana Novini reports. video...

“Welcome to the stupidest week in the Senate,” said Sen. Kevin Cramer, who, like literally everyone, witnessed the ex-president incite a deadly insurrection.
By Jennifer Bendery

We all saw it. Senators serving as jurors this week in former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial lived through it. On Jan. 6, at a Washington, D.C., rally, Trump used violent imagery as he recited lies about the election being stolen from him and urged supporters to go to the Capitol and “fight like hell” to stop Joe Biden from becoming president. So they did: They stormed the building and roamed the halls looking for members of Congress to kill to stop them from certifying the election results. Five people died. Two more Capitol Police officers who were there died by suicide. More than 140 police officers were injured. And the entire hourslong attack was documented on TV and social media.

Despite video evidence, despite rioters saying on camera that Trump told them to carry out the attack and despite literally everyone witnessing the nightmare scenario unfold in real time, most Republican senators say they’re not convinced Trump incited the insurrection that day. The excuses they’ve come up with ― all of which are fueled by a fear of hurting their own political futures by criticizing Trump ― range from dismissing Congress’ constitutional right to hold an impeachment trial to saying everyone is to blame for the attack to saying we should probably pin this on Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.). more...

Security footage shows just how close Capitol rioters got to lawmakers and staffers.
By Li Zhouli@vox.com

House impeachment managers — using previously unseen security footage from the US Capitol and a map of the building — revealed how close rioters came to confronting staffers and lawmakers on January 6, underscoring the threat that insurrectionists posed to everyone there. These clips, shown during Democrats’ eight hours of argument in former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial Wednesday, revealed a series of near misses. Some of the most shocking included the moment when Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) nearly ran into attackers, and another when rioters almost found a group of eight staffers hiding in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office. In one clip, Romney is seen trying to leave the Senate chamber only to inadvertently walk in the direction of the incoming rioters. Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman happens to run into him and directs him to sprint the other way. more...

Analysis by Daniel Dale, CNN

Washington (CNN) Former President Donald Trump has never publicly admitted that he was rejected by American voters. But now his lawyer has. On the floor of the US Senate. Bruce Castor Jr.'s performance at the outset of Trump's second impeachment trial will likely be remembered more for his aimless rambling than anything else. But Castor's Tuesday monologue was also noteworthy for something he said while attempting to get to a rare point. Castor argued that the real reason Trump was impeached again is that his opponents in the House Democratic majority do not want to see him run in the 2024 election. (If two-thirds of senators present vote to convict Trump, a simple majority of senators could then decide to ban Trump from holding future office.) Castor said the decision on who serves as the next president should be left up to the American people. And Castor said: "The people are smart enough ... to pick a new administration if they don't like the old one. And they just did." Then, soon after, Castor added that this is commonplace: "The people get tired of an administration they don't want. And they know how to change it. And they just did." Castor's assertion about what the people "just did" is obvious to anyone who is willing to acknowledge reality. Except Trump has tried hard to create an alternative reality. more...


Emotions ran high during the first day of Trump's impeachment trial. With stakes this high, events have a way of getting personal — even for lawyers.
Gregory B. Craig

Going into former President Donald Trump's impeachment trial, I wondered how and whether Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., would deal with the issue of his son’s suicide. In his remarks on Tuesday, the trial's opening day, he told a story about sharing grief with his family and bringing his family to the House of Representatives for the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory, and then having to deal with the violence of the insurrection. He broke into tears when he told the Senate that his daughter informed him that, because the events of the day, fear and violence had been so unsettling, she never wanted to come back to the Capitol, ever again. Raskin held himself together, but the tears were memorable. more...

By Manu Raju and Caroline Kelly, CNN

(CNN) Six Republicans joined all of their Democratic colleagues on Tuesday to vote that the impeachment trial against former President Donald Trump is constitutional, with Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy emerging as the sole Republican to switch his vote after an initial vote on constitutionality last month. The 56-44 final vote marked the closing chapter of Tuesday's proceedings, with the Senate adjourned until noon on Wednesday. All but six Republican senators voted that the trial was unconstitutional because Trump is no longer president. It was the second time such a vote was taken after Sen. Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, forced a vote on the same question last month. Here's which Republican senators voted that the impeachment trial was consistent with the Constitution: more...

David Jackson USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – The gavel-to-gavel television coverage of his impeachment trial this week returned former President Donald Trump to the place he loves best: the political spotlight. The historic second impeachment trial, which began Tuesday, focuses on accusations that he incited a violent insurrection Jan. 6 with his actions and words before the assault on the Capitol by pro-Trump rioters seeking to overturn the presidential election. Democrats, and some Republicans, say his actions should bar him from future office and render his support radioactive. Supporters call the trial a election-style attack that will likely help Trump politically, at least among Republican voters. Both arguments underscore Trump's own words, in a tweet, right before the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol: "Remember this day forever!" Most people expect Trump to be acquitted, but the Senate trial isn't just about the verdict. more...

By Amy Gardner

Last year, Philadelphia lawyer Michael T. van der Veen filed a lawsuit against then-President Donald Trump accusing him of making “repeated claims” that mail voting is ripe with fraud “despite having no evidence in support of these claims.” This week, van der Veen is adopting a different posture as part of the team of attorneys defending Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election result in his Senate impeachment trial. How a longtime personal-injury lawyer found himself at the center of that trial, which opened Tuesday, may say more about his client than his own legal career. Trump struggled to find lawyers to take on his case, parting ways with several who were unwilling to claim that the 2020 election was stolen, as the president is said to have wanted them to do. more...

The account is one of the last remaining Twitter handles affiliated with the former president and his aides that is accessible on the platform.
By QUINT FORGEY

As President Donald Trump's second Senate impeachment trail commenced on Tuesday, the Twitter account that formerly belonged to his reelection campaign's rapid response team posted commentary on the proceedings and criticism of congressional Democrats. One tweet from the "Trump War Room" account issued on Tuesday afternoon targeted Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who is presiding over Trump's trial in his capacity as president pro tempore of the Senate. "Imagine having a 'trial' where the 'judge' had already voted to convict the defendant?" the tweet read. "That's what happens in banana republics, third world dictatorships and now the United States Senate. SAD!" The "Trump War Room" account is one of the last remaining Twitter accounts affiliated with Trump and his aides that is accessible on the platform. more...

Three members of the US Congress describe in vivid detail what it was like when rioters stormed the Capitol on 6 January. This week the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump begins. He faces one charge of "incitement of insurrection". video...

By Jonathan Easley

House impeachment managers showed a dramatic new video of the mob storming the Capitol in the opening minutes of former President Trump's impeachment trial, as Democrats look to make the case that Trump must be held accountable for his actions even if he is no longer in the White House. Democrats created the disturbing video documenting the Jan. 6 siege by interweaving Trump’s address to a group of supporters calling on them to march on the Capitol with violent footage of the attack. “We’re going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue … and we’re going to the Capitol and we’re going to try and give our Republicans, the weak ones … we’re going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness they need to take back our country,” Trump says in the video. more...

Charles Davis

Former aides to Donald Trump told CNN that Trump enjoyed watching his supporters assault the US Capitol in the final days of his presidency. The January 6 Capitol riot, which broke out soon after Trump gave a speech near the White House falsely claiming he won the 2020 election, resulted in five deaths, including the killing of a US Capitol Police officer. As the violence unfolded last month, Republicans and Democrats alike pleaded with Trump to intervene — to call on his supporters to stop. For hours, however, he remained largely silent, ensconced at the White House and, reports indicate, consuming cable news. CNN quoted a former senior Trump official as saying the president was enjoying what he saw on the screen: people — some in MAGA hats and with Trump flags — breaking into the home of the federal government's legislative branch. more...

By Jordan Williams

One of the House impeachment managers at former President's Senate trial on Tuesday pointed to a tweet the president sent after a mob attacked the Capitol, saying it "chills me to my core." Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) highlighted the tweet as he and other impeachment managers sought to make the case to the Senate that Trump had incited a mob to attack the Capitol. Hours after the attack, Trump asked members of the mob to "go home with love and peace" and referred to them as "great patriots." He also wrote that they would "remember this day forever." more...

*** Republicans are still protecting Trump even after he attempted a coup and caused the sacking of the United States Capitol. ***

By Melissa Quinn

Washington — Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said Sunday that the outcome of former President Donald Trump's upcoming impeachment trial is "really not in doubt" as many Republicans believe the Senate lacks the authority to try a president who is no longer in office and will likely vote to acquit him. "It's not a question of how the trial ends, it's a question of when it ends," Graham said in an interview with "Face the Nation." "Republicans are going to view this as an unconstitutional exercise, and the only question is, will they call witnesses, how long does the trial take? But the outcome is really not in doubt." more...

By Chandelis Duster and Nicky Robertson, CNN

(CNN) Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania said Sunday it's "very unlikely" the Senate votes to convict former President Donald Trump in the impeachment trial set to begin Tuesday. "You did have 45 Republican senators vote to suggest that they didn't think it was appropriate to conduct a trial, so you can infer how likely it is that those folks will vote to convict," Toomey told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State on Union." The senator, who has said he is not going to run for reelection after his term ends in 2022, was one of five Republicans who joined Democrats in tabling an effort to force a vote on the constitutionality of the trial last month. He told Tapper that he stands by his previous remark that Trump "committed impeachable offenses." "I think it is constitutional. I think it's clearly constitutional to conduct a Senate trial with respect to an impeachment. In this case the impeachment occurred prior to the President leaving office," Toomey said. "I stand by everything I've said, Jake. I still think the best outcome would have been for the President to resign. Obviously he chose not to do that." more...

By Jeremy Herb and Manu Raju, CNN

(CNN) The House impeachment managers on Thursday requested Donald Trump testify at his upcoming Senate impeachment trial, in a dramatic move to try to get the former President on the record about his conduct surrounding the January 6 riots at the Capitol. But Trump's legal team quickly responded by rejecting the invitation in a terse response to the House impeachment team, putting the decision back on the Democrats over whether to try to compel Trump's testimony with a subpoena. Lead impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin sent a letter to Trump's attorney Thursday requesting that Trump testify before or during the upcoming impeachment trial, which begins on Tuesday, arguing that his testimony was needed after he disputed the House's allegations that he incited the insurrection at the Capitol. more...

By Jeremy Herb and Manu Raju, CNN

(CNN) The House impeachment managers on Thursday requested Donald Trump testify at his upcoming Senate impeachment trial, in a dramatic move to try to get the former President on the record about his conduct surrounding the January 6 riots at the Capitol. Lead impeachment manager Jamie Raskin sent a letter to Trump's attorney Thursday requesting that Trump testify before or during the upcoming impeachment trial, which begins on Tuesday, arguing that his testimony was needed after he disputed the House's allegations that he incited the insurrection at the Capitol. "Two days ago, you filed an Answer in which you denied many factual allegations set forth in the article of impeachment," Raskin, a Maryland Democrat, wrote. "You have thus attempted to put critical facts at issue notwithstanding the clear and overwhelming evidence of your constitutional offense. In light of your disputing these factual allegations, I write to invite you to provide testimony under oath, either before or during the Senate impeachment trial, concerning your conduct on January 6, 2021." more...

Kevin Breuninger

Lawyers for Donald Trump on Tuesday denied that the former president incited a mob of his supporters to storm the U.S. Capitol, or that he tried to stop Congress from confirming President Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory. The arguments in a 14-page filing from Trump’s legal team came one week before his unprecedented second impeachment trial is set to begin in the Senate. Trump was impeached in the House last month on one article of inciting an insurrection. Earlier Tuesday, nine Democratic House impeachment managers shared an 80-page trial brief laying out their case for convicting Trump in the Senate and barring him from ever holding federal office again. Those impeachment managers argued that Trump was “personally responsible” for inciting the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol, which left five dead and forced an evacuation by a joint session of Congress, derailing their efforts to confirm Biden’s election win. more...

By Amy Gardner and Karoun Demirjian

House Democrats made their case to convict former president Donald Trump of inciting the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol in a sweeping impeachment brief filed with the Senate on Tuesday that accused Trump of whipping his supporters into a “frenzy” and described him as “singularly responsible” for the mayhem that ensued. In the brief, the nine House impeachment managers argue that Trump is not protected by the First Amendment’s freedom of speech provision, which was never intended, they wrote, to allow a president to “provoke lawless action if he loses at the polls.” “If provoking an insurrectionary riot against a Joint Session of Congress after losing an election is not an impeachable offense, it is hard to imagine what would be,” the brief states. Democrats also rejected the claim embraced by many Republicans that it is unconstitutional to convict a president after he has left office — an argument that Trump’s lawyers are expected to make in his defense. more...

By Darragh Roche

A major Missouri newspaper has called on Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) to hold former President Donald Trump accountable in his upcoming second impeachment trial or resign. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch published an editorial on Monday urging Hawley and his Republican colleagues to "impose law and order on Trump" and cited the deadly Capitol riot on January 6. Hawley was one of the most prominent Republicans to object to President Biden's 2020 election victory. He supported formal objections to the Electoral College votes from Arizona and Pennsylvania. more...

*** Lindsey Graham is full of s--- he is still protecting Trump after Trump tried to steal the election and incited the capitol riot that caused the deaths of five people. Republicans refused to have witness in the first trail so the truth would not come out and they are at it again. You cannot have a trial without witness and Lindsey Graham threat to calling in the FBI will not help Trump or the republicans. ***

“You open up Pandora’s box if you call one witness,” cautioned the Trump ally, who claimed a lengthy trial of the former president would be “bad for the country.”
By Lee Moran

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) cautioned Democrats against calling witnesses to testify in the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump for incitement of his supporters’ deadly Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Graham told Fox News’ Trey Gowdy on Monday that a “Pandora’s box” and “a can of worms” would be opened if just one witness was brought forward in the Senate trial of Trump, set to begin next week. The House last month impeached Trump over the violence that left five people dead. Graham, a former fierce critic of Trump who after the 2016 election became one of his most loyal defenders, warned that calling witnesses could mean a monthslong trial “and that would be bad for the country.” Graham and other Republicans have argued it is time to “move on” from the insurrection for the good of the U.S. “If you open up that can of worms (by calling witnesses), we’ll want the FBI to come in and tell us about how people actually pre-planned these attacks and what happened with the security footprint at the Capitol,” the South Carolina Republican continued, parroting a right-wing talking point that the attack was planned well before Trump urged his supporters at a pre-riot rally to march to the Capitol. more...

By Katie Shepherd

When Bruce L. Castor Jr. ran for district attorney in Montgomery County, Pa., in 2015, the campaign hinged on his decision years earlier not to charge comedian Bill Cosby with sexual assault. And after Castor lost the race, he sued the woman he blamed for the defeat: one of Cosby’s victims. His suit, which was dismissed in 2018, made national headlines as the prosecutor who defeated him criminally charged Cosby, eventually sending him to prison. Now, Castor is poised to represent another politician dismayed over a recent election loss: former president Donald Trump. Following a sudden exodus of lawyers who had been working on Trump’s defense for his Feb. 9 impeachment trial, the former president on Sunday announced that he’ll be represented by Castor and David Schoen, another attorney with ties to several high-profile, controversial defendants, including Roger Stone and Jeffrey Epstein. more...

By Jim Acosta, Kaitlan Collins, Pamela Brown and Katelyn Polantz, CNN

(CNN) Former President Donald Trump's office announced that David Schoen and Bruce L. Castor, Jr. will now head the legal team for his second impeachment trial, a day after CNN first reported that five members of his defense left and his team effectively collapsed. One point of friction with his previous team was Trump wanted the attorneys to focus on his election fraud claims rather than the constitutionality of convicting a former president. Trump has struggled to find lawyers willing to take his case as he refuses to budge from his false claims. Trump's advisers have been talking to him about his legal strategy and he keeps bringing up election fraud for his defense, while they have repeatedly tried to steer him away from that, according to a source familiar with those discussions. It's unclear whether Schoen and Castor will go along with what Trump wants. more...

By Gloria Borger, Kaitlan Collins, Jeff Zeleny and Ashley Semler, CNN

(CNN) Five of former President Donald Trump's impeachment defense team attorneys have stepped aside a little more than a week before his Senate trial is set to begin, according to people familiar with the case, amid a disagreement over his legal strategy. Butch Bowers and Deborah Barbier, who were expected to be two of the lead attorneys, are no longer on the team. A source familiar with the changes said it was a mutual decision for both to leave the legal team. As the lead attorney, Bowers assembled the team. Josh Howard, a North Carolina attorney who was recently added to the team, has also left, according to another source familiar with the changes. Johnny Gasser and Greg Harris, also from South Carolina, are no longer involved with the case, either. A person familiar with the departures told CNN that Trump wanted the attorneys to argue there was mass election fraud and that the election was stolen from him rather than focus on the legality of convicting a president after he's left office. Trump was not receptive to the discussions about how they should proceed in that regard. more...

By Bill Powell

Donald Trump's first week out of office ended well. On Tuesday only five Republican senators opposed a motion that declared it unconstitutional to impeach a former president—far from the 17 GOP votes that Democrats would need to find Trump guilty. "He was gratified, because that's certainly his view: that it's unfair and unconstitutional, and he knows it means there's no chance he'll be convicted," says a close friend who spends time with Trump in Mar-a-Lago. (This source and several other Trump friends and advisers requested anonymity in order to speak candidly.) Now Citizen Trump feels confident he'll emerge with a legal and a political win.

Trump has been considering two questions: how to contest the forthcoming Senate trial and how to maintain his political relevance over the next four years. He's getting differing opinions from family members, friends and advisers. Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, former chief White House political strategist Steve Bannon, and a handful of others are pushing him not just to defend against the charge that he incited the January 6th Capitol insurrection, but to use the Senate trial as an opportunity to re-litigate his claims of election fraud in key swing states. "Show everyone the receipts," is how Bannon puts it, referring to evidence of fraud that the Trump team claims to have. more...

Domenico Montanaro

The forming narrative among those who don't want a Senate impeachment trial for former President Donald Trump is along the lines of, "He's out of office. What's the point?" Others are going so far as to claim that conducting an impeachment trial for Trump now that he's out of office is unconstitutional. "I think the ex-president's rhetoric on the day was inflammatory," said Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., who was criticized for his role in the Jan. 6 violence as well. Hawley was one of the instigators of objecting to Congress' traditionally ceremonial electoral vote counting. "I think it was irresponsible. I think it was wrong. But I think that this impeachment effort is, I mean, I think it's blatantly unconstitutional. It's a really, really, really dangerous precedent." It's not blatantly unconstitutional. And there is already precedent for the Senate trying an official after he has left office. It happened 145 years ago, and the impeachment managers in that 19th-century case believed that by holding that trial no one would again question whether it was allowed. more...

*** Republicans refuse to hold republicans accountable for their actions but have no problem-holding democrats accountable. ***

By Manu Raju

(CNN) To Senate Minority Whip John Thune, former President Donald Trump's actions ahead of the deadly Capitol riot are totally indefensible. "No -- not at all," the No. 2 Republican said when asked if he can defend what Trump did. "The way he handled the post-election, both in terms of his public statements and things that he tried to do to change the outcome, no." But like other Republicans, Thune has no clear answer to this key question: What should they do to Trump after he lied to his supporters about the election being stolen, promoted the January 6 rally in DC and urged demonstrators to go to the Capitol, which they later rampaged in a deadly riot? "Well, that's a good question," said Thune, who faces reelection in South Dakota next year. "One way, obviously, would be in a court of law."

With the impeachment trial for Trump set to begin February 9, Senate Republicans are criticizing him without doing anything about his actions, hoping to put distance between themselves and the former President without casting any votes that could cause a backlash from Trump and his fervent supporters. Many say something should be done about what Trump did -- but just not by them. When asked about Trump's actions in relation to the January 6 riot on Capitol Hill, Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, a member of GOP leadership, said: "I'm not going to defend them." "I think he's been held accountable in the court of public opinion already," Cornyn said when asked if the Senate should take any actions, arguing it would set a "dangerous precedent" to convict a former President. more...

Julie Gerstein

The QAnon Shaman, he of the fur, face paint, horns, and bare chest, has offered to speak at former President Donald Trump's impeachment trial next month. The Shaman, real name Jacob Chansley, told the Associated Press, via his lawyer Albert S. Whatley, that he would be open to attending the trial and testify against the president. Chansley, Whatley said, had been "horrendously smitten" with Trump, but now feels "like he was betrayed by the president" after the president failed to give him and other Capitol rioters pardons. more...


To the editor: Senate Republicans have said there should be no trial for former President Trump because of a whole host of reasons (“Forget constitutionalism. Rand Paul’s attempt to preempt Trump’s trial is just brute politics,” Opinion, Jan. 27). Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) says he is concerned about the trial tearing America apart. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) argues that a former president cannot be tried in the Senate. Perhaps Paul is correct. Trump is now an “ordinary” citizen and should be subject to the same justice that everyone else is. I believe there is ample evidence that Trump committed crimes as stated by the article of impeachment. Dozens of people who stormed the Capitol have been arrested. Now that Trump is an ordinary citizen, why has he not been arrested on suspicion of inciting an insurrection? more..

By Alexander Bolton

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) on Jan. 13 announced to colleagues that he was open to voting to convict President Trump for inciting an insurrection, but since then he has taken steps behind the scenes to throttle the Democratic impeachment effort. On Tuesday, 45 GOP senators voted in support of a motion from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) declaring Trump’s second impeachment trial unconstitutional on the grounds that Trump is no longer president. The vote made it clear that there will be no Senate conviction of Trump, since at least 17 GOP votes would be needed to secure the 67 votes necessary in a 50-50 Senate. “Just do the math,” Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), one of five Republicans to oppose Paul’s motion, remarked to reporters after the vote. McConnell was described by associates as “furious” over the mob attack on the Capitol, and he has continued to say he will keep an open mind to legal arguments presented during the trial. It seems clear he is more than open to the party moving on from Trump, particularly after the former president was widely blamed for the GOP losing two runoff elections in Georgia that cost it the Senate majority. more...

By Annie Grayer, CNN

(CNN) A group of Democratic House staffers are drafting what they hope will be a bipartisan message to the Senate about the upcoming impeachment trial, urging senators to take the trauma their aides experienced during the violent insurrection in the Capitol on January 6 seriously, a staffer tells CNN. "We are staff who work for members of the U.S. House of Representatives, where it is our honor and privilege to serve our country and our fellow Americans. But on January 6th, 2021, our workplace was attacked by a violent mob trying to stop the Electoral College vote count," the draft of the letter reads. In an effort to make the letter appeal to Republican staffers as well, its drafters organized the signatures so staffers can sign on with just their email addresses, leaving off the offices of the members of Congress they work for. The letter squarely blames former President Donald Trump for inciting the attack. "As employees of the U.S. House of Representatives, we don't have a vote on whether to convict Donald J. Trump for his role in inciting the violent attack at the Capitol, but our Senators do. And for our sake, and the sake of the country, we ask that they vote to convict the former president and bar him from ever holding office again," the letter states. more...

The Senate not only has the constitutional right to try Trump; it has a constitutional duty to do so.
By Jessica Levinson, professor at Loyola Law School

The Senate is on the cusp of the historic second Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump. On Monday, the House delivered its article of impeachment to the Senate. On Tuesday, the members of the House who will act as trial lawyers will be sworn in, with the trial set to begin Feb. 8. The question is straightforward — the sole article of impeachment alleges that Trump incited an insurrection. We all saw the insurrection play out live on television, computer and phone screens across the country. We all saw our elected officials wearing gas masks and sheltering in place in the people's house, the Capitol. We all saw the speech Trump gave moments before the insurrection. We have likely all made up our minds already whether Trump's behavior rises to the level of an impeachable offense. But while the facts feel relatively clear, the next two weeks give Trump and his GOP allies a chance to strategize. And a primary Republican defense is already taking shape: that the Senate lacks the constitutional power to hold the trial because Trump is no longer in office. more...

By Clare Foran and Manu Raju, CNN

Washington (CNN)The Senate tabled an effort by Sen. Rand Paul to force a vote on Tuesday on the constitutionality of former President Donald Trump's impeachment trial, but the vote offered an indicator for support among Republican senators who have been sworn in as jurors for the trial. Paul's motion was killed on a 55-45 vote, with five Republicans joining all Democrats, meaning 45 Republicans voted for Paul's effort. Paul, a Kentucky Republican, told reporters he's going to force a procedural vote on the constitutionality of a Senate trial. The vote is expected to take place Tuesday afternoon after senators are sworn in as jurors. "I think there will be enough (votes) to show that more than a third of the Senate thinks that the whole proceeding is unconstitutional, which will show that ultimately they don't have the votes to do an impeachment," he said. The Democratic-led House has already voted to impeach Trump, charging him with incitement of insurrection for the attack on the Capitol that left multiple people dead. But two-thirds of the Senate would have to vote to convict Trump after a trial, an extremely high bar to clear. more...

Watch live coverage as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to send the article of impeachment charging former President Donald Trump with "incitement of insurrection" to the Senate. video...

By Alexander Bolton and Jordain Carney

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will not preside over former President Trump’s Senate impeachment trial, which is scheduled to begin in earnest on Feb. 8. Instead, Senate President Pro Tempore Patrick Leahy (Vt.), the most senior member of the Senate Democratic Conference, will preside over the trial. Leahy on Monday confirmed he would wield the gavel and promised to administer “impartial justice.” “The president pro tempore has historically presided over Senate impeachment trials of non-presidents. When presiding over an impeachment trial, the president pro tempore takes an additional special oath to do impartial justice according to the Constitution and its laws. It is an oath that I take extraordinarily seriously,” he said in a statement. more...

By Michael Warren

Washington (CNN) With the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump set to begin in February, nine prominent Republican lawyers, including two former officials in the Trump administration, have signed a letter urging GOP senators to "consider the evidence" before deciding how to vote on conviction. The letter, obtained by CNN and organized by the nonprofit Republicans for the Rule of Law, is addressed to Republican senators and calls the impeachment article passed by the House a "grave accusation" and says the trial is "not the time for petty, partisan politics." "We urge every Senator to consider the evidence presented by the House without prejudice or political tint, and with an open mind," reads the letter. "We particularly urge that, if the evidence supports a vote to convict the former president and disqualify him from future office, no Senator let partisan or electoral considerations alter that conclusion." Among the signatories are former Trump officials John Mitnick, former general counsel at the Department of Homeland Security, and Robert B. Shanks, the general counsel for the Peace Corps from 2017 to 2020 and a former Justice Department official under President Ronald Reagan. more...

*** Some Republicans continue to protect Trump and want to give him a pass after his crimes against America, his multiple coup attempts and inciting insurrection, sedition and sacking of the United States Capitol. ***

Speaking with NBC's "Meet the Press," Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., called the impeachment trial "a moot point."
By Allan Smith

Several Republican senators on Sunday discouraged suggestions that the chamber could convict former President Donald Trump in his upcoming impeachment trial. "Well first of all, I think the trial is stupid," Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., told "Fox News Sunday." "I think it's counterproductive. We already have a flaming fire in this country and [impeachment is] taking a bunch of gasoline and pouring it on top of the fire." Rubio added he believes Trump "bears responsibility for some of what happened" during the deadly riots at the Capitol earlier this month but that he does not believe impeachment is the right way to address the matter. He also said it would be "arrogant" to say that Trump should be barred from running for office again. "The first chance I get to vote to end this trial I will do it because I think it's bad for America," he said. "If you want to hold people accountable there's other ways to do it, particularly for president." Rubio said impeachment will "make it harder to get important things done and it's just going to continue to fuel these divisions that have paralyzed the country and have turned us into a country of people that hate each other." more...

By Devan Cole, CNN

Washington (CNN)Republican Sen. Mitt Romney said Sunday that he believes holding an impeachment trial for former President Donald Trump is constitutional, a position that puts him at odds with some of his Senate colleagues. "I'll of course hear what the lawyers have to say for each side. But I think it's pretty clear that the effort is constitutional," Romney told CNN's Dana Bash on "State of the Union." The Utah Republican said that he's reviewed law review articles, which have shown that "the preponderance of the legal opinion is that an impeachment trial after someone has left office is constitutional." "I believe that what is being alleged and what we saw, which is incitement to insurrection, is an impeachable offense. If not, what is?" Romney said, referring to the impeachment article passed by the House earlier this month that charges Trump with inciting the deadly US Capitol riot on January 6. more...

*** How times and how many ways did Trump try to steal the election? ***

The former president dropped the efforts to replace the acting attorney general after top DOJ officials agreed to resign en masse in protest if he succeeded, people familiar said
By Jess Bravin and Sadie Gurman

WASHINGTON—In his last weeks in office, former President Donald Trump considered moving to replace the acting attorney general with another official ready to pursue unsubstantiated claims of election fraud, and he pushed the Justice Department to ask the Supreme Court to invalidate President Biden’s victory, people familiar with the matter said. Those efforts failed due to pushback from his own appointees in the Justice Department, who refused to file what they viewed as a legally baseless lawsuit in the Supreme Court. Later, other senior department officials threatened to resign en masse should Mr. Trump fire then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, according to several people familiar with the discussions.

Senior department officials, including Mr. Rosen, former Attorney General William Barr and former acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall refused to file the Supreme Court case, concluding that there was no basis to challenge the election outcome and that the federal government had no legal interest in whether Mr. Trump or Mr. Biden won the presidency, some of these people said. White House counsel Pat Cipollone and his deputy, Patrick Philbin, also opposed Mr. Trump’s idea, which was promoted by his outside attorneys, these people said. more...

*** Trump was impeached before he left office the process needs to be completed. Republicans are still protecting Trump after he tried to commit a coup and incited a riot that caused the sacking of the capitol of the United State of America and caused the deaths of five Americans. Republicans are definitely the anti-American party; they are protecting a man who attempted to commit a coup on the United States of America. Not sure if it is white privilege or they are just spoiled children when they do not get there way they want to blow everything up. ***

Reuters in Washington

The Texas Republican senator John Cornyn warned on Saturday that Donald Trump’s second impeachment could lead to the prosecution of former Democratic presidents if Republicans retake Congress in two years’ time. Trump this month became the first US president to be impeached twice, after the Democratic-controlled House, with the support of 10 Republicans, voted to charge him with incitement of insurrection over the assault on the Capitol by his supporters on 6 January which left five people dead. Trump failed to overturn his election defeat and Joe Biden was sworn in as president this week. After a brief moment of bipartisan sentiment in which members from both parties condemned the unprecedented attack on Congress as it met to formalize Biden’s victory, a number of Senate Republicans are opposing Trump’s trial, which could lead to a vote blocking him from future office. “If it is a good idea to impeach and try former presidents, what about former Democratic presidents when Republicans get the majority in 2022?” Cornyn, a 19-year veteran of the Senate who last year tried to distance himself from Trump when it seemed his seat was at risk, tweeted at majority leader Chuck Schumer. more...

Ex-president, whose Senate trial will start in two weeks, reportedly planned to oust acting attorney general in bid to overturn election.
Martin Pengelly

Donald Trump was at his Florida resort on Saturday, beginning post-presidency life while Joe Biden settled into the White House. But in Washington and beyond, the chaos of the 45th president’s final days in office continued to throw out damaging aftershocks. In yet another earth-shaking report, the New York Times said Trump plotted with an official at the Department of Justice to fire the acting attorney general, then force Georgia Republicans to overturn his defeat in that state. Former acting US defense secretary Christopher Miller, meanwhile, made an extraordinary admission, telling Vanity Fair that when he took the job in November, he had three goals: “No military coup, no major war and no troops in the street.” The former special forces officer added: “The ‘no troops in the street’ thing changed dramatically about 14.30 [on 6 January]. So that one’s off [the list].” That was the day a mob incited by Trump smashed its way into the US Capitol, in some cases allegedly looking for lawmakers to kidnap or kill. More than 100 arrests have been made over the riot, which also saw Trump impeached a second time. more...

By ALANNA DURKIN RICHER and COLLEEN LONG

WASHINGTON (AP) — The words of Donald Trump supporters who are accused of participating in the deadly U.S. Capitol riot may end up being used against him in his Senate impeachment trial as he faces the charge of inciting a violent insurrection. At least five supporters facing federal charges have suggested they were taking orders from the then-president when they marched on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 to challenge the certification of Joe Biden’s election win. But now those comments, captured in interviews with reporters and federal agents, are likely to take center stage as Democrats lay out their case. It’s the first time a former president will face such charges after leaving office. more...

By Manu Raju, Ted Barrett and Jeremy Herb, CNN

(CNN) The path in the Senate to convict Donald Trump is extremely slim, with a growing number of Republicans expressing confidence that the party will acquit the former President on a charge that he incited the deadly insurrection aimed at stopping President Joe Biden's electoral win. After Democratic leaders announced they would kick off the process to begin the impeachment trial on Monday, Republicans grew sharply critical about the proceedings -- and made clear that they saw virtually no chance that at least 17 Republicans would join with 50 Democrats to convict Trump and also bar him from ever running from office again. In interviews with more than a dozen GOP senators, the consensus was clear: Most Republicans are likely to acquit Trump, and only a handful are truly at risk of flipping to convict the former President -- unless more evidence emerges or the political dynamics within their party dramatically change. Yet Republicans are also signaling that as more time has passed since the riot, some of the emotions of the day have cooled and they're ready to move on. "The chances of getting a conviction are virtually nil," said Sen. Roger Wicker, a Mississippi Republican. more...

*** They need to convict Trump, if they give Trump, a pass the next Trump will be far worse because he knows there is no punishment for a president that commits crimes. ***

By American-Statesman Editorial Board

Imagine our nation’s future if President Donald Trump’s actions go unchallenged. Consider the precedents he will set. The losing candidate for president can spread wild conspiracy theories about a stolen election, even after recounts, court rulings and voting security experts have upheld the results. That candidate can tell supporters that the winner is illegitimate and must be stopped. That candidate can summon thousands to the nation’s capital and tell them, “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.” That candidate can order the crowd to march to the U.S. Capitol to stop the certification of election results — launching a deadly riot. We cannot undo the horrors of Jan. 6, the bloodshed and the beatings and the plumes of tear gas filling the halls of Congress. But we can hold the instigators accountable. We can insist on consequences that send a clear message: Attacks on our democracy — on the power of voters to choose their leaders — will not be tolerated. more...

"If you can prove that it's true... they are no longer fighting words," he said.
By Jonathan Karl and Will Steakin

President Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani tells ABC News he's working as part of the president's defense team in his upcoming second impeachment trial -- and that he's prepared to argue that the president's claims of widespread voter fraud did not constitute incitement to violence because the widely-debunked claims are true. "I'm involved right now … that's what I'm working on," Giuliani told ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl. A few hours later, Giuliani -- who led the president's efforts to overturn the 2020 election results -- was spotted at the White House. Giuliani's involvement in Trump's impeachment defense comes as many of the lawyers involved in the president's first impeachment, including White House counsel Pat Cipollone and his deputies and outside lawyers Jay Sekulow and Jane and Marty Raskin, do not plan to return for the second trial. more...

By Geoff Earle, Deputy U.S. Political Editor For Dailymail.com

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is telling his Republican colleagues President Trump's impeachment trial will be a 'vote of conscience' – an absence of pressure that effectively allows them to vote guilty. McConnell has already communicated that he himself has not made up his mind on whether to convict Trump – following reports of his fury after a MAGA mob ransacked the Capitol, with one crowd of invaders stopped steps from McConnell's leadership office. 'His message to me was this would clearly be a vote of conscience,' Montana Republican Sen. Kevin Cramer said. 'He's always been respectful of members that way.' more...

By Alexander Bolton

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) office told Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer’s (D-N.Y.) staff on Wednesday that the GOP will not agree to reconvene the Senate before Jan. 19 to allow an impeachment trial while President Trump is still in office. A senior Senate Republican aide confirmed that McConnell’s office reached out to Schumer’s office to relay the message that Republicans will not agree to a Friday session to enable House Democrats to present an article of impeachment to the Senate while Trump is in office. McConnell said in a memo circulated to colleagues last week that the Senate will not be able to handle business on the floor until senators are scheduled to return to Washington on Jan. 19 unless all 100 senators agree to reconvene sooner. more...

With help from his allies, Fox News, right-wing media and some in the Republican Party; Donald J. Trump incited insurrection, sedition, attempted a coup d’etat and caused the sacking of the United States capital. Donald J. Trump’s coup attempt involved some House members, some Senate members, and Mike Pence overturning the election certification process with the hope that Trump could steal the election and steal the presidency. If those on the right really wanted to stop the steal, they should have told Trump to stop lying about the election and stop trying to steal the election. Trump sent his supporters to the United States capital in hopes that maybe they could scare congress into helping him over turn the election so he could remain the president.

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