Trump impeachment goes to Senate, testing his sway over GOP

Trump impeachment goes to Senate, testing his sway over GOP
Clerk of the House Cheryl Johnson along with acting House Sergeant-at-Arms Tim Blodgett, lead the Democratic House impeachment managers as they walk through Statuary Hall in the Capitol, to deliver to the Senate the article of impeachment against former President Donald Trump. Source: AP Photo
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Daily US Times: House Democrats delivered the impeachment case against former president Donald Trump to the Senate late Monday for the start of his historic senate trial, but Republicans in the Senate were easing off their criticism of Mr Trump and shunning calls to convict him over the deadly siege at the US Capitol.

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

The nine House prosecutors carried the only impeachment charge of “incitement of insurrection” across the Capitol, making a solemn and ceremonial march to the Senate along the same halls the pro-Trump rioters ransacked just weeks ago. But Republican denunciations of the former president have cooled since the January 6 riot. Instead GOP lawmakers are presenting a tangle of legal arguments against the legitimacy of the trial and questioning whether Mr 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 the then-president Donald 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 Mr Trump and his legions of followers — who are their voters.

Security remains tight at the Capitol arena.

Senator 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?”

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