The impeachment of former Donald Trump has taken an unexpected turn with the decision of the Senate to authorize the appearance of witnesses on the same day that they were supposed to close it off. The indictment has called Republican Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler to testify that last night, after Trump’s defense denied that the president had failed in his duty to protect the Capitol, he reiterated that the reason why the last table voted to In favor of the impeachment of the then-president: his leader in the Lower House, Kevin McCarthy, had told him that when he called Trump in the middle of the assault to ask him to placate his followers, he sided with the mob.
Despite protests from Trump’s defense, the Senate has approved the request of the prosecutors in the case of the congressmen appointed by the House of Representatives, where the process began with 55 votes in favor and 45 against. Five Republicans have backed the petition four who have supported the constitutionality of the process (Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski Mitt Romney, and Ben Sasse, and also Lindsey Graham, an ally of the president who changed her vote at the last minute and threatens to encourage the appearance of many many witnesses.
If they go ahead, don’t limit the number of witnesses I would like to call lawyer Michael Van Der Veer warned before the vote. Hundreds he said, furious at the unexpected turn the trial has taken. more start this morning at 10.00 local time in Washington. The accusation, he has argued is for incitement to insurrection and not about what happened next. That is irrelevant no matter what was said later has nothing to do with incitement” to the insurrection.
Congresswoman Herrera Beutler, one of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump on January 13, published a statement last night that reaffirms her statements about the conversation between McCarthy and Trump and says she is willing to testify. When McCarthy finally located him on February 6 and asked him to publicly and forcefully call for the protests to stop, the first thing he did was repeat the lie that the anti-fasts had entered the Capitol, says the congresswoman. McCarthy according to the notes he took after their conversation, corrected him and told him that the assailants were his sympathizers.
Well, Kevin, I suppose these people are angrier than you with the elections,” the president responded to the Republican leader, according to Herrera Beutler, who already in January revealed the content of this conversation as part of his reasons for supporting the impeachment of Trump. The congresswoman has called on the rest of the patriots who witnessed the president’s response that day to step forward and testify including former Vice President Mike Pence. If you have something to add, now is the time.
The prosecutors’ decision to call her as a witness, announced by Congressman Jaime Raskin, has taken all senators, including Democrats, by surprise. Some Republicans have taken it as a declaration of war and an invitation to a broader investigation of the events before ruling on the role of the former president in the events. We could start because Nancy Pelosi [the Speaker of the Lower House] responds to the question of whether there was no indication that the violence was planned before Trump’s speech, he raises.
The process to summon witnesses seems cumbersome and threatens to lengthen its outcome beyond what the two parties a priori wanted, in addition to President Joe Biden himself, who may see his negotiations with the Senate on the new rescue plan muddy. Each witness that the parties want to call must be agreed by the parties, voted by the plenary session of the chamber, where the Democrats have 50 seats and the Republicans, others. Negotiation on the rules of the process will also be necessary, which today enters unknown territory.
However, it seems difficult for this unexpected development to alter the outcome of the trial. Democrats would need 17 Republicans to support Trump’s conviction to reach the two-thirds of the votes required for the verdict to pass, and fewer than half a dozen have been in favor to date. The leader of the Republican minority in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, this morning sent a note to his colleagues announcing that he planned to vote against the conviction of the former president.