Democrats deliver 2nd Trump impeachment to U.S. Senate

Clerk of the House Cheryl Johnson along with acting House Sergeant-at-Arms Tim Blodgett, right, and Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., lead the Democratic House impeachment managers as they walk through Statuary Hall on Capitol Hill to deliver to the Senate the ar
Clerk of the House Cheryl Johnson along with acting House Sergeant-at-Arms Tim Blodgett, right, and Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., lead the Democratic House impeachment managers as they walk through Statuary Hall on Capitol Hill to deliver to the Senate the ar

Iowa's Ernst says this could set a 'dangerous standard.'

Posted: Jan 25, 2021 8:34 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats delivered the impeachment case against Donald Trump to the Senate late Monday for the start of his historic trial, but Republican senators were easing off their criticism of the former president and shunning calls to convict him over the deadly siege at the U.S. Capitol.

It's an early sign of Trump's enduring sway over the party.

The nine House prosecutors carried the sole impeachment charge of “incitement of insurrection" across the Capitol, making a solemn and ceremonial march to the Senate along the same halls the rioters ransacked just weeks ago. But Republican denunciations of Trump have cooled since the Jan. 6 riot. Instead Republicans are presenting a tangle of legal arguments against the legitimacy of the trial and questioning whether Trump's repeated demands to overturn Joe Biden's election really amounted to incitement.

What seemed for some Democrats like an open-and-shut case that played out for the world on live television, as Trump encouraged a rally mob to “fight like hell" for his presidency, is running into a Republican Party that feels very differently. Not only are there legal concerns, but senators are wary of crossing the former president and his legions of followers — who are their voters. Security remains tight at the Capitol.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, asked if Congress starts holding impeachment trials of former officials, what's next: “Could we go back and try President Obama?”

Besides, he suggested, Trump has already been held to account. “One way in our system you get punished is losing an election.”

Senator Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, released the following statement:

“Violence, no matter your party affiliation, is wrong. Destroying homes and businesses is lawlessness. A mob attack on the U.S. Capitol is inexcusable. The political rhetoric that has reverberated throughout this country for too long will only lead to more anarchy; it’s time we tone it down and come together. We have an obligation to watch our words, because they have all-too-real consequences."

“As I’ve said, President Trump exhibited poor leadership and holds some responsibility for the anarchy that ensued at the heart of our democracy. The individuals who lawlessly stormed the Capitol, murdered police, and attempted to prevent Congress from doing its job, should be held accountable to the full extent of the law."

“Impeachment is an important constitutional tool. When we have a president that demonstrates he or she is unfit to continue holding office, it provides Congress a pathway to remove the president, to preserve the safety and security of our nation."

“Over the coming weeks, I will have the opportunity to listen to the arguments for and against convicting a former president—and as always, I will hear from my fellow Iowans on the matter. My concern right now is that the president is no longer in office. Congress would be opening itself to a dangerous standard of using impeachment as a tool for political revenge against a private citizen, and the only remedy at this point is to strip the convicted of their ability to run for future office – a move that would undoubtedly strip millions of voters of their ability to choose a candidate in the next election."

“As we go through this process, I urge every member of the Senate to keep in mind what is best for our nation, and ultimately what will bring us together, not further divide.”

Arguments in the Senate trial will begin the week of Feb. 8, and the case against Trump, the first former president to face impeachment trial, will test a political party still sorting itself out for the post-Trump era. Republican senators are balancing the demands of deep-pocketed donors who are distancing themselves from Trump and voters who demand loyalty to him. One Republican, Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, announced Monday he would not seek reelection in 2022, citing the polarized political atmosphere.

For Democrats the tone, tenor and length of the upcoming trial, so early in Biden's presidency, poses its own challenge, forcing them to strike a balance between their vow to hold Trump accountable and their eagerness to deliver on the new administration's priorities following their sweep of control of the House, Senate and White House.

Biden himself told CNN late Monday that the impeachment trial “has to happen.” While acknowledging the effect it could have on his agenda, he said there would be “a worse effect if it didn’t happen.”

Biden said he didn't think enough Republican senators would vote for impeachment to convict, though he also said the outcome might well have been different if Trump had six months left in his term.

In a Monday evening scene reminiscent of just a year ago — Trump is now the first president twice impeached — the lead prosecutor from the House, this time Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, stood before the Senate to read the House resolution charging “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Earlier, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said failing to conduct the trial would amount to a “get-out-jail-free card” for others accused of wrongdoing on their way out the door.

Republicans appear more eager to argue over trial process than the substance of the case, he said, perhaps to avoid casting judgment on Trump's “role in fomenting the despicable attack” on the Capitol.

Schumer said there's only one question "senators of both parties will have to answer before God and their own conscience: Is former President Trump guilty of inciting an insurrection against the United States?”

On Monday, it was learned that Chief Justice John Roberts is not expected to preside at the trial, as he did during Trump’s first impeachment, potentially affecting the gravitas of the proceedings. The shift is said to be in keeping with protocol because Trump is no longer in office.

Instead, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D- Vt., who serves in the largely ceremonial role of Senate president pro tempore, is set to preside.

Leaders in both parties agreed to a short delay in the proceedings that serves their political and practical interests, even as National Guard troops remain at the Capitol amid security threats on lawmakers ahead of the trial.

The start date gives Trump’s new legal team time to prepare its case, while also providing more than a month's distance from the passions of the bloody riot. For the Democratic-led Senate, the intervening weeks provide prime time to confirm some of Biden’s key Cabinet nominees.

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., questioned how his colleagues who were in the Capitol that day could see the insurrection as anything other than a “stunning violation” of the nation's history of peaceful transfers of power.

"It is a critical moment in American history,” Coons said Sunday in an interview.

An early vote to dismiss the trial probably would not succeed, given that Democrats now control the Senate. The House approved the charge against Trump on Jan. 13, with 10 Republicans joining the Democrats.

Still, the mounting Republican opposition to the proceedings indicates that many GOP senators will eventually vote to acquit Trump. Democrats would need the support of 17 Republicans — a high bar — to convict him.

One by one, Republican senators are explaining their objections to the unprecedented trial and scoffing at the idea of trying to convict Trump now that he's no longer in office.

Rand Paul of Kentucky said that without the chief justice presiding the proceedings are a “sham.” Joni Ernst of Iowa said that while Trump “exhibited poor leadership,” it's those who assaulted the Capitol who “bear the responsibility.” New Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama said Trump is one of the reasons he is in the Senate, so "I’m proud to do everything I can for him.”

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., is among those who say the Senate does not have the constitutional authority to convict a former president.

Democrats reject that argument, pointing to an 1876 impeachment of a secretary of war who had already resigned and to opinions by many legal scholars. Democrats also say that a reckoning of the first invasion of the Capitol since the War of 1812, perpetrated by rioters egged on by a president as Electoral College votes were being tallied, is necessary.

A few GOP senators have agreed with Democrats, though not close to the number that will be needed to convict Trump.

Mitt Romney of Utah said he believes "what is being alleged and what we saw, which is incitement to insurrection, is an impeachable offense. ... If not, what is?” Romney was the only Republican senator to vote for conviction when the Senate acquitted Trump in his first impeachment trial.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 770246

Reported Deaths: 8661
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Hennepin1537491923
Ramsey63444980
Dakota57071526
Anoka54052520
Washington33690331
Stearns28419253
St. Louis23735361
Scott21652160
Wright21388171
Olmsted18144120
Sherburne15515115
Carver1366556
Clay1025399
Rice9985131
Blue Earth966659
Crow Wing9518109
Chisago837263
Kandiyohi835197
Otter Tail8061105
Benton7477111
Beltrami658079
Mower645541
Douglas629190
Goodhue619985
Itasca618885
Winona611854
McLeod595770
Steele585825
Isanti573074
Morrison557767
Becker534862
Polk512879
Freeborn487642
Nobles481652
Lyon456356
Carlton446866
Nicollet434454
Pine428532
Cass425745
Mille Lacs416967
Brown411547
Todd400036
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Meeker356854
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Martin326336
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Redwood240443
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Houston231117
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Sibley211612
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Pope16148
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Murray135011
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Stevens124911
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Wilkin102814
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Norman8789
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Grant7869
Lincoln7845
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Traverse5165
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Cook2460

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 474151

Reported Deaths: 6785
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk74657729
Linn29194394
Scott24733274
Black Hawk20335358
Woodbury19207244
Johnson17988100
Dubuque15834229
Pottawattamie14276200
Dallas14109108
Story1288551
Warren774296
Cerro Gordo6951110
Webster6950111
Clinton6929101
Des Moines667594
Marshall641885
Muscatine6352113
Wapello5936137
Jasper578279
Lee565689
Sioux565676
Marion508191
Buena Vista491746
Plymouth463487
Henry389847
Jones370861
Washington366856
Benton359257
Bremer357168
Boone350937
Carroll346353
Crawford339347
Mahaska322856
Dickinson301052
Clay279133
Buchanan279039
Jackson273546
Kossuth271873
Hardin270249
Tama264976
Fayette260649
Delaware258546
Cedar249526
Page249328
Wright243645
Hamilton233954
Winneshiek233338
Floyd221845
Harrison217777
Madison216925
Clayton214558
Poweshiek211741
Iowa208029
Butler206638
Cass201557
Jefferson201040
Mills199929
Allamakee194753
Cherokee193844
Lyon192941
Hancock187639
Winnebago186633
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Appanoose180850
Shelby178439
Louisa171052
Grundy168537
Humboldt167727
Emmet167146
Franklin164628
Mitchell164043
Union162637
Chickasaw159318
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Monroe134335
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Ida118641
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Worth10818
Adair105335
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