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Democrats continue with second impeachment process as GOP is divided over how to protect Trump

Republican National Committee members were also in heated debate over the weekend over how to respond to impeachment – and how fiercely to defend Trump, who maintains support among a majority of the commission’s 168 members, party officials and members said.

On January 24, a day before an impeachment article was sent to the Senate, lawmakers discussed the upcoming trial of former President Donald Trump. (The Washington Post)

Home impeachment managers plan to send an impeachment article to the Senate on Monday alleging “incitement to revolt”

; after a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 in a riot that left a Capitol police officer and more four dead. On Friday, Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (DN.Y.) announced that the second impeachment process would begin on February 9 after a deal was reached with minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Which would allow The Senate to focus on President Biden’s agenda, and also to put together a defense for Trump.

Asked if the two-week delay would cost Democrats little support from Republicans for impeachment, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Massachusetts) objected, saying the Jan. 6 events far exceeded many other norms Trump violated in the office.

“I can’t imagine how the Republican opposition to the uprising would disappear in a few weeks,” Warren told CNN’s domestic policy on Sunday. “We are talking about a president who stood in front of a crowd and told them to go to the Capitol and invade, told them to go to the Capitol and stop the legitimate state business so that he could try to stay in the White House. This is so fundamentally wrong. . . . We need accountability, accountability for Donald Trump and accountability for all those who participated in this uprising. “

Romney, who has often clashed with Trump, said there is a “predominance” of legal opinions that support progress in the process, even though Trump’s term is over. He said he hoped the impeachment process would end quickly.

Romney did not say whether he would vote to condemn Trump, but said there was “no doubt” that the House article implied impeachment. He said he wanted to hear the president’s defense before making a decision.

“It is clear that an effort has been made in the last year to corrupt the United States election, not by President Biden but by President Trump,” Romney told Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday. ”

As part of his party, Romney was in the minority on Sunday. Later in the same show, Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) Called Trump’s second impeachment trial “stupid” and “bad for America.” On ABC This Week, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) Declined to say outright that the election was not stolen, echoing a number of other Republicans who called for unity but refused to acknowledge that Biden had won justly. thus perpetuating the lie that fuels the Capitol riots.

In “Meet the Press,” Senator Mike Rounds (RS.D.) said whether Trump has committed an impeachment crime is a “controversial issue” since he is no longer president. Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Who argues that holding a post-president trial is outside the Senate’s constitutional powers, told Fox News that “the more I talk to other Republican senators, the more they are is starting to rank behind the position I announced a few weeks ago. “He did not specify which senators.

RNC member Demetra DeMonte of Illinois, meanwhile, sent a mass email to dozens of RNC members praising Trump and calling on the RNC chairwoman and others to pass a resolution she drafted against impeachment.

In a recent interview, RNC President Rona McDaniel told The Washington Post that she opposed Trump’s impeachment. McDaniel declined to comment on the resolution.

But Bill Palatucci, a New Jersey commission member and close ally of former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, responded to the email by opposing the resolution. He said there was a constitutional argument that the process could continue.

“The RNC can best contribute to this healing process by acknowledging the role that former President Trump played in the uprising, condemning it and promising to do everything we can to ensure that it never happens again. “, Writes Palatuchi.

Palatucci said the resolution could consider whether the process is in order, as there is a constitutional argument for and against the process.

Biden has largely refrained from weighing impeachment issues, though on Friday he signaled readiness to postpone the trial by two weeks so the Senate can confirm more than his cabinet nominees and accept his initial request from Congress: approval the $ 1.9 trillion relief package to tackle the coronavirus pandemic and the economic consequences it has caused.

On ABC This Week, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn) said she believed the Senate could juggle all of these tasks at once – perhaps confirming nominees in the morning, holding an impeachment process in the afternoon and passing legislation at night.

Klobuchar also said the process is not only constitutional, but has a legal remedy, in addition to simply removing Trump from office – in this case, banning Trump from holding office again if convicted. She quoted a New York Times report as revealing that the former president was considering a plan to remove the incumbent attorney general to put a Justice Department official more open to prosecuting baseless allegations that the election was rigged. deceived.

“I think we will get more and more evidence in the next few weeks, as if it was not enough that he sent an angry mob around the Mall to invade the Capitol, did not try to stop him and a police officer was killed,” Klobuchar told ABC News journalist George Stefanopoulos. “I really don’t know what else you need to know. The facts were there. “

Representative Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.), One of nine chamber impeachment managers who will essentially serve as prosecutors during the Senate trial, said on Sunday that the fact that 10 members of the CSO Chamber voted in favor impeachment, gives her hope that a growing number of Republican senators will reach the same view.

“Ten were historically high numbers,” Dean told CNN’s State of the Union. “I think that’s reassuring.”

Dean declined to say whether the charges against Trump would be expanded to include recent revelations that he may have tried to do more to overturn the election results, including considering removing the incumbent Attorney General to appoint an official. of the Department of Justice, sympathetic to Trump’s baseless allegations of electoral fraud.

“I think you’ll see that we’re going to put together a case that’s so compelling because the facts and the law reveal what this president did,” Dean said. “I will not anticipate our strategy and our case. . . . We will put forward a very strong argument for impeachment, for disqualification, for condemnation. “

Asked how long she expected the Senate trial to continue, Dean said she would “expect it to go faster” than Trump’s first impeachment trial last January, which ended with an acquittal three weeks later.

“Some people would like us to turn the page,” Dean said.

She then referred to Biden’s words on the eve of his discovery, in which he said that healing from the losses caused by the coronavirus requires people to remember.

“We need to remember,” Dean said Sunday, “that this impeachment process. . . [is] these first very powerful steps towards unity in our country, which are moving forward. “

The cat Zakrzewski contributed to this report.

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