President Trump addresses impeachment vote following Capitol riots

Politics

WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — Those waiting for President Donald Trump to publicly express remorse for urging a crowd of his supporters to march on the Capitol just hours before it was ransacked would be disappointed by what he had to say Tuesday.

On his way to an event in Texas, Trump said his widely criticized words to rally on Wednesday had been thoroughly analyzed.

“And people thought that what I said was totally appropriate,” he said. “They’ve analyzed my speech and words and my final paragraph, my final sentence, and everybody, to the T, thought it was totally appropriate.

Trump did not identify who thought that, but said calls to impeach him now for incitement were dangerous.

“This impeachment is causing tremendous anger and it is really a terrible thing that they are doing it, for Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to continue on this path, I think it is causing tremendous danger to this country and tremendous anger,” he said.

And yet undeniable and bipartisan anger and exasperation directed at the president remain.

Republicans in both the Senate and the House have been freed by their leadership to vote their consciences when impeachment comes up this week — a change from the lock-step opposition demanded during impeachment a year ago.

One report says Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell actually favors impeachment as a way to move his party past Donald Trump.

A second impeachment is now likely since the House is controlled by the Democrats. Conviction and removal from office would then need the support of at least 17 Republican senators to hit the two-thirds threshold and only a simple majority could bar him from ever holding elective office again.

It’s a tall order given the usual partisan differences and the timing: there are only eight days left in the Trump presidency. The Senate is currently in recess, but Democratic Senate Leader Chuck Schumer said time is not the issue.

“We could come back ASAP and vote to convict Donald Trump and get him out of office now, before any further damage is done,” said Schumer.

To constitutional scholar Ilya Shapiro of the Cato Institute, the president’s guilt is clear.

“The basis of this impeachment is, that President Trump incited an insurrection, a riot, the mob that overtook the Capitol last Wednesday. I think that is an impeachable offense,” said Shapiro. “I think he did incite people to go and do that. And so I think this is beyond the pale and he should be impeached and removed and disqualified from future office.”

But former Bush administration justice department official John Yoo says proving incitement would be hard.

“Trump did not specifically call for violence. He did not ask people to attack the Capitol. That’s what you would need to show to actually prove incitement,” said Yoo. “I expect after last week’s events… I can’t see the American people wanting to have President Trump back again in four years as president. So that’s the big question. Why go through all the trouble and controversy for that?”

And yet the impeachment train appears to be gathering speed. 

On Tuesday, Liz Cheney, the third-highest-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives, and the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney announced she will vote to impeach President Trump because, as she said “there has never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States.”

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