Concern about the safety of U.S. senators will mark one major difference between Donald Trump's two impeachment trials.
The Trump-supporting insurrectionists who stormed the U.S. Capitol have shown how far they will go in their support of Trump, with some of the rioters seeking to "hang" Trump's own vice president for not going along with their conspiracy to overturn the election.
This has raised concerns that senators may not uphold their duty to the Constitution during the vote and instead vote out of fear that they may be endangered if they don't vote to acquit.
"February vote in Senate on whether to convict Trump should be a secret ballot in order to (1) protect safety of senators, and (2) allow them to vote their consciences," former Labor Secretary Robert Reich urged on Twitter.
"If Republican senators had integrity and if Trump supporters were peaceful, this wouldn't be necessary. But they're not and they're not. So a secret ballot offers a better chance of convicting Trump and ensuring he'll never again be president," Reich explained.
Constitutional law expert Laurence Tribe noticed Reich's suggestion and said it would be the "fairest way to proceeed" -- while doubting it could happen.
A secret ballot would probably convict and ban Trump 100-0. But I guess it’s not in the cards, though it’d be the f… https://t.co/5dAudMkTgi— Laurence Tribe (@Laurence Tribe)1611436747.0
Journalist Kurt Eichenwald suggested it would be a simple task for Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to deliver.
In writing rules for impeachment trial, @SenSchumer should include that vote will be secret ballot. @SenateGOP talk… https://t.co/33bcCO1Cdo— Kurt "Masks Save Lives" Eichenwald (@Kurt "Masks Save Lives" Eichenwald)1611430149.0