Daily US Times: Former US President Donald Trump’s defenders in the Senate rallied around him on Sunday before his impeachment trial, dismissing it as a waste of time and arguing that Mr Trump’s fiery speech before the US Capitol insurrection does not make him responsible for the violence of January 6.
Republican Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi said: “If being held accountable means being impeached by the House and being convicted by the Senate, the answer to that is no.”
Asked if Congress could consider other punishment, such as censure, Wicker said the House, which is lead by the Democrats, had that option earlier but rejected it in favor of impeaching him.
“That ship has sailed,” the Republican Senator said.
The Senate is set to launch the impeachment trial on Tuesday to consider the charge that the former president’s fighting words to protesters at a Capitol rally as well as weeks of falsehoods about a stolen and rigged presidential election provoked a mob to storm the Capitol.
Five people, including a police officer, died as a result of the melee, including a police officer.
Many top Republican senators including Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell immediately denounced the violence and pointed a finger of blame at Trump.
Following the Capitol riot, Wicker said Americans “will not stand for this kind of attack on the rule of law” and without naming names, said “we must prosecute” those who undermine democracy.