FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump gestures as he speaks during a rally to contest the certification of the 2020 U.S. presidential election results by the U.S. Congress, in Washington, U.S, January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Jim Bourg/File Photo(REUTERS)
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump gestures as he speaks during a rally to contest the certification of the 2020 U.S. presidential election results by the U.S. Congress, in Washington, U.S, January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Jim Bourg/File Photo(REUTERS)

Donald Trump impeachment goes to Senate, testing his sway over GOP

Arguments in the Senate trial will begin the week of Feb. 8, and the case against Trump, the first former president to face impeachment trial, will test a political party still sorting itself out for the post-Trump era.
AP, Washington
PUBLISHED ON JAN 26, 2021 06:00 AM IST

Democrats marched the impeachment case against Donald Trump to the Senate Monday night for the start of his historic trial, but Republican senators were easing off their criticism of the former president and shunning calls to convict him over the deadly siege at the US Capitol.

It's an early sign of Trump's enduring sway over the party.

The House prosecutors delivered the sole impeachment charge of “incitement of insurrection," making the ceremonial walk across the Capitol to the Senate. But Republican denunciations of Trump have cooled since the Jan. 6 riot. Instead Republicans are presenting a tangle of legal arguments against the legitimacy of the trial and questions whether Trump's repeated demands to overturn Joe Biden's election really amounted to incitement.

What seemed for some Democrats like an open-shut case that played out for the world on live television, as Trump encouraged a rally mob to “fight like hell" for his presidency, is running into a Republican Party that feels very differently. Not only are there legal concerns, but senators are wary of crossing the former president and his legions of followers who are their voters. Security remains tight at the Capitol.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said if Congress starts holding impeachment trials of former officials, what's next: “Could we go back and try President Obama?”

Besides, he suggested, Trump has already been held to account. “One way in our system you get punished is losing an election.”

Arguments in the Senate trial will begin the week of Feb. 8, and the case against Trump, the first former president to face impeachment trial, will test a political party still sorting itself out for the post-Trump era. Republican senators are balancing the demands of deep-pocketed donors who are distancing themselves from Trump and voters who demand loyalty to him. One Republican, Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, announced Monday he would not seek reelection in 2022 citing the polarized political atmosphere.

For Democrats the tone, tenor and length of the upcoming trial, so early in Biden's presidency, poses its own challenge, forcing them to strike a balance between their vow to hold Trump accountable and their eagerness to deliver on the new administration's priorities following their sweep of control of the House, Senate and White House.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Republicans appear more eager to argue over trial process than the substance of the impeachment case against Trump, perhaps to avoid casting judgment on the former president's “role in fomenting the despicable attack” on the Capitol.

He said there's only one question "senators of both parties will have to answer before God and their own conscience: Is former President Trump guilty of inciting an insurrection against the United States?”

Failing to conduct the trial would amount to a “get-out-jail-free card” for other officials accused of wrongdoing on their way out the door, Schumer said.

On Monday, it was learned that Chief Justice John Roberts is not expected to preside at the trial, as he did during Trump’s first impeachment, potentially affecting the gravitas of the proceedings. The shift is said to be in keeping with protocol because Trump is no longer in office.

Instead, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D- Vt., who serves in the largely ceremonial role of Senate president pro-tempore, is set to preside.

Leaders in both parties agreed to a short delay in the proceedings that serves their political and practical interests, even as National Guard troops remain at the Capitol amid security threats on lawmakers ahead of the trial.

The start date gives Trump’s new legal team time to prepare its case, while also providing more than a month's distance from the passions of the bloody riot. For the Democratic-led Senate, the intervening weeks provide prime time to confirm some of Biden’s key Cabinet nominees.

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., questioned how his colleagues who were in the Capitol that day could see the insurrection as anything other than a “stunning violation” of the nation's history of peaceful transfers of power.

“It is a critical moment in American history,” Coons said Sunday in an interview.

An early vote to dismiss the trial probably would not succeed, given that Democrats now control the Senate. Still, the mounting Republican opposition to the proceedings indicates that many GOP senators would eventually vote to acquit Trump. Democrats would need the support of 17 Republicans — a high bar — to convict him.

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said he doesn't believe the Senate has the constitutional authority to convict Trump after he has left office.

“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 said.

Democrats reject that argument, pointing to an 1876 impeachment of a secretary of war who had already resigned and to opinions by many legal scholars. Democrats also say that a reckoning of the first invasion of the Capitol since the War of 1812, perpetrated by rioters egged on by a president as Electoral College votes were being tallied, is necessary to ensure such a siege never happens again.

A few GOP senators have agreed with Democrats, though not close to the number that will be needed to convict Trump.

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said he believes "what is being alleged and what we saw, which is incitement to insurrection, is an impeachable offense.” Romney said, “If not, what is?”

But Romney, the lone Republican to vote to convict Trump when the Senate acquitted the then-president in last year’s trial, appears to be an outlier.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
North Korea, which has yet to report any confirmed Covid-19 cases despite sharing a border with China, has imposed border closings.(Reuters file photo)
North Korea, which has yet to report any confirmed Covid-19 cases despite sharing a border with China, has imposed border closings.(Reuters file photo)

North Korea measures to stem Covid-19 worsen abuses, hunger, says UN expert

Reuters, Geneva
PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 05:56 PM IST
Humanitarian operations have nearly ground to a halt and only three international aid workers remain in North Korea while relief goods have been stuck at the Chinese border for months.
Close
India’s Supreme Court in January ruled that indefinite internet shutdowns in Kashmir were illegal following a legal challenge from civil society groups.(Getty Images)
India’s Supreme Court in January ruled that indefinite internet shutdowns in Kashmir were illegal following a legal challenge from civil society groups.(Getty Images)

India led the world in internet shutdowns in 2020: Report

Posted by Kunal Gaurav | Bloomberg
PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 05:53 PM IST
At least 155 internet shutdowns in 2020 disrupted access for people in 29 countries, including 28 full internet blackouts, the report said.
Close
South Africa's Deputy President David Mabuza gestures during a visit to Biovac, a Covid-19 vaccine storage facility, in Midrand, South Africa.(AFP)
South Africa's Deputy President David Mabuza gestures during a visit to Biovac, a Covid-19 vaccine storage facility, in Midrand, South Africa.(AFP)

Coronavirus variant found in South Africa paves way for better vaccines

Bloomberg
PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 05:26 PM IST
The variant, identified in South Africa late last year, has taken over as the dominant strain in the nation of 60 million people and has spread to 48 other countries.
Close
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said last week that the ban on non-essential international travel to and from England will stay until at least May 17.(Reuters)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said last week that the ban on non-essential international travel to and from England will stay until at least May 17.(Reuters)

UK says needs to work with international partners on travel restart

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 05:26 PM IST
Asked about when exactly travel will be allowed, Courts said: "There won't be any travel before May 17th, and we will look as soon as we can after that, but it really isn't something I can give more detail on."
Close
A medic administers the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine to a senior citizen at Government Polyclinic in Gurugram.(PTI)
A medic administers the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine to a senior citizen at Government Polyclinic in Gurugram.(PTI)

Interim UK study finds one dose of Covid-19 shots reduces hospitalisation

Reuters, London
PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 05:12 PM IST
The results add to other early findings from studies of vaccine roll-outs in Israel, Scotland and England, which have also pointed to high effectiveness from the first doses.
Close
Actor Robert Downey Jr. (REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/File Photo)
Actor Robert Downey Jr. (REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/File Photo)

Robert Downey Jr. and Bill Gates bet on electric motor startup

Posted by Kunal Gaurav | Bloomberg
PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 05:10 PM IST
A California-based startup said it has raised $80 million from investors including a fund led by Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates and Iron Man actor Robert Downey Jr.
Close
This image from video provided by Smithsonian's National Museum of American History shows Dr. Anthony Fauci holding his personal 3D model of the Covid-19 virus. (AP Photo )
This image from video provided by Smithsonian's National Museum of American History shows Dr. Anthony Fauci holding his personal 3D model of the Covid-19 virus. (AP Photo )

Anthony Fauci presents his personal 3D model of Covid-19 virus to Smithsonian

AP, Washington
PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 04:31 PM IST
Fauci showed off his new medal in a video call Tuesday night, calling it “an extraordinary and humbling” honor.
Close
Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced on Tuesday that he is rescinding executive orders that limit capacities for businesses and the state wide mask mandate.(AP Photo)
Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced on Tuesday that he is rescinding executive orders that limit capacities for businesses and the state wide mask mandate.(AP Photo)

Mask mandate implementation was patchy in Texas, now locals concerned

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Amit Chaturvedi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 04:30 PM IST
The enforcement of the mask mandate was patchy, and some sheriffs refused to police the restrictions at all.
Close
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (File Photo/Reuters)
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (File Photo/Reuters)

London mayor Sadiq Khan tightens emission rules, buses stare at heavy fines

PTI
PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 04:28 PM IST
With the tightening of the city-wide Low Emission Zone (LEZ) rules, heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), buses and coaches that fail to meet emissions standards will be hit with a daily charge of up to 300 pounds.
Close
A poster of Pope Francis is seen ahead of his upcoming visit to Iraq, in Baghdad.(REUTERS)
A poster of Pope Francis is seen ahead of his upcoming visit to Iraq, in Baghdad.(REUTERS)

Pope Francis says he must go to Iraq because people cannot be let down

Posted by Kunal Gaurav | Reuters, Vatican City
PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 04:20 PM IST
Pope Francis, who is due to start the risky trip in Baghdad on Friday, asked for prayers so that the visit "can take place in the best possible way."
Close
Elephants, if blocked by farms like KiliAvo's or others, would seek alternative routes: "This would ... result in massive human-wildlife conflicts." REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya(REUTERS)
Elephants, if blocked by farms like KiliAvo's or others, would seek alternative routes: "This would ... result in massive human-wildlife conflicts." REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya(REUTERS)

Avocados threaten to usher in 'massive human-wildlife conflicts' in Kenya

Reuters, Kimana
PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 04:05 PM IST
  • free movement of some 2,000 Amboseli elephants, along with two dozen other wildlife species plus cows owned by local Maasai people, may be under threat - from avocados.
Close
The Foreign Correspondents' Club of China (FCCC) said in a report that one out of six correspondents reported being forced to live and work in China on a series of short visas of between one and three months.(AFP)
The Foreign Correspondents' Club of China (FCCC) said in a report that one out of six correspondents reported being forced to live and work in China on a series of short visas of between one and three months.(AFP)

China using Covid-19 pandemic to increase restrictions for foreign journalists

ANI, Beijing
PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 03:59 PM IST
The pandemic allowed China an opportunity to create more restrictions for foreign press in the name of public health.
Close
File photo of SpaceX founder Elon Musk.(Mint)
File photo of SpaceX founder Elon Musk.(Mint)

Elon Musk plans to create new city named Starbase at SpaceX's Texas launch site

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Amit Chaturvedi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 03:55 PM IST
Some people in Texas say the move is part of Musk's plan to change the name of Boca Chica, the area near the Mexican border where SpaceX’s new Starship prototypes dominate the seaside skyline.
Close
Indian federal officials have denied that any cyberattack has occurred, but say malware was found.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Indian federal officials have denied that any cyberattack has occurred, but say malware was found.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Chinese hackers still actively targeting Indian port in shadow war, says US firm

Posted by Kunal Gaurav | Bloomberg
PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 03:54 PM IST
The intrusions into India’s critical infrastructure have been occurring since at least the middle of last year, according to Recorded Future, a privately held cybersecurity firm.
Close
Pope Francis also appealed to the international community "to see to it that the hopes of the people of Myanmar are not suffocated by violence".(REUTERS)
Pope Francis also appealed to the international community "to see to it that the hopes of the people of Myanmar are not suffocated by violence".(REUTERS)

Pope Francis appeals to Myanmar military to release political prisoners

Reuters, Vatican City
PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 03:41 PM IST
  • Pope Francis, speaking at the end of his general audience, appealed directly to Myanmar's military authorities "so that dialogue prevails over repression and harmony over discord".
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP