Republicans lawmakers differ on Trump’s impeachment trial

The impending trial of former United States (U.S.) President Donald Trump on a charge of inciting the deadly storming of the Capitol has widened the division rift among his fellow Republicans that was on full display yesterday, Reuters reported.

Mitt Romney, a Republican Senator and a known critic of Trump, said he believed the trial, which could lead to a vote banning Trump from future office, was a necessary response to the former president’s inflammatory call to his supporters to “fight” his election defeat before the Jan. 6 attack.

This comes after ten Republicans joined the House of Representatives in voting to impeach Trump on a charge of inciting insurrection, and the House is to present the charges to the Senate today. Leaders of the narrowly divided Senate agreed to start the trial in two weeks, leaving time to confirm some of President Joe Biden’s Cabinet nominees and possibly address his call for a fresh round of stimulus for a coronavirus-hammered nation.

“The article of impeachment that was sent over by the House suggest(s) impeachable conduct,” Romney, a frequent critic of Trump, who voted to convict during the first impeachment trial, told Fox News yesterday. “It’s pretty clear that over the last year or so, there has been an effort to corrupt the election of the United States and it was not by President Biden, it was by President Trump.”

Senator Tom Cotton, another Republican, said the Senate was acting beyond its constitutional authority by holding a trial. “I think a lot of Americans are going to think it’s strange that the Senate is spending its time trying to convict and remove from office a man who left office a week ago,” Cotton told Fox News.

Not everyone agrees. “I think the trial is stupid,” Republican Senator Marco Rubio told Fox News yesterday, saying he would vote to end it at the first opportunity.

“I think it’s counterproductive. We already have a flaming fire in this country and it’s like taking a bunch of gasoline and pouring it on top of the fire.”

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the trial will be fair but move at a relatively fast pace.

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