Having survived one impeachment trial in the U.S, Senate due to a GOP majority that had its mind set on keeping Donald Trump in the Oval Office, the president can expect a much different second impeachment trial in the coming weeks, according to Politico.
Trump now has the distinction of being the only U.S. president to be impeached twice and with that comes a chance that he may be convicted this time -- but that is not the only difference this go-around.
At the top of the list for differences is the fact that during the first impeachment, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) let it be known that there was no chance that the GOP-majority Senate would convict one of their own, while the impending impeachment trial -- with the Democrats in control -- is much more uncertain with Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) leaving the door open.
"Ahead of the last trial, McConnell said there was 'no chance' Trump would be booted from office and was a key defender of the president. But this time around, McConnell is keeping an open mind and is urging his fellow GOP senators to keep their powder dry. It could mean that Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, the only Republican who voted to convict Trump in the first impeachment trial, will have company this time around," the report states.
Add to that, McConnell will not be in charge of the proceedings for this trial.
According to the report, "Do Republicans like Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who oppose the trial, try to force a vote on dismissing the charges? If they do, it will probably fail since the Senate will be split 50-50 along party lines, and enough Republicans have signaled openness to conviction that they're unlikely to end the trial before it begins. But that vote could also be an early test for just how many Republicans might be open to conviction."
More intriguing this time is the personal aspect of the impeachment. The first impeachment had to do with the president using the powers of his office to dig up dirt on a political opponent Joe Biden. This time, the articles of impeachment concern an act of sedition that put Trump's Senate "jurors" in fear of their lives.
"Every impeachment manager and every juror was also a victim of the alleged crime: incitement of insurrection. The same people trying and deciding the case were the ones ducking behind chairs and dodging violent mobs less than two weeks ago, while they frantically pleaded with Trump for help that only belatedly arrived," Politico's Andrew Desiderio and Kyle Cheney wrote.
With the changeover in control of the Senate, this impeachment could involve witnesses who were not allowed under the Republican majority, which may make it harder for Republicans to dismiss the charges.
"One potential witness on Democrats' list is Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia secretary of state. Trump has mercilessly harangued Raffensperger and Gov. Brian Kemp, who are both Republicans, for not adopting his unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud in the state," the report states.
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