Washington: The Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, will send an impeachment article to the Senate on Monday, accusing Donald Trump of inciting congressional riots, officially triggering the first impeachment trial of the former president.
Congressman Pelosi vowed last week that the trial originally scheduled for the second week of February should continue. He said: “I don’t think it will be very long, but we have to do it.”
But Republican lawmakers signaled over the weekend that Democrats may struggle to secure Trump’s conviction over the storming of US legislative buildings earlier this month, which left five people dead.
Senior figures in Trump’s party have pushed back with both political and constitutional arguments, raising doubts that Democrats — who control 50 seats in the 100-seat chamber — can secure the 17 Republican votes to reach the two-thirds majority needed to convict.
“I think the trial is stupid. 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,” Marco Rubio, the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, told Fox News Sunday.
He acknowledged that Trump — who had urged thousands of his supporters to flock to Washington and protest the congressional certification of Joe Biden’s victory — “bears some responsibility for what happened.”
But Trump’s defeat of the presidential candidate Rubio in the 2016 primaries said that “hype again” would only hurt the country.