Growing number of Republican senators oppose impeachment trial of former president

 Growing number of Republican senators oppose impeachment trial of former president

A growing number of Republican senators say they oppose holding an impeachment trial, a sign of the dimming chances that former U.S. president Donald Trump will be convicted on the charge that he incited a siege of the U.S. Capitol.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was among the Republican senators who voiced opposition to the impeachment trial of former U.S. president Donald Trump over the weekend. (Joe Raedle/Reuters)

A growing number of Republican senators say they oppose holding an impeachment trial, a sign of the dimming chances that former U.S. president Donald Trump will be convicted on the charge that he incited a siege of the U.S. Capitol.

House Democrats, who will walk the impeachment charge of “incitement of insurrection” to the Senate on Monday evening, are hoping that strong Republican denunciations of Trump after the Jan. 6 riot will translate into a conviction and a separate vote to bar him from holding office again.

But Republican passions appear to have cooled since the insurrection. And now that Trump’s presidency is over, Republican senators who will serve as jurors in the trial are rallying to his legal defence, as they did during his first impeachment trial last year.

“I think the trial is stupid, I think it’s counterproductive,” Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said.

He said that “the first chance I get to vote to end this trial, I’ll do it” because he believes it would be bad for the country and further inflame partisan divisions.

Arguments in the Senate trial will begin the week of Feb. 8. Leaders in both parties agreed to the short delay to give Trump’s team and House prosecutors time to prepare and the Senate the chance to confirm some of President Joe Biden’s cabinet nominees.

Democrats say the extra days will allow for more evidence to come out about the rioting by Trump supporters who interrupted the congressional electoral count of Biden’s election victory, while Republicans hope to craft a unified defence for Trump.

17 Republican senators needed to convict

An early vote to dismiss the trial probably would not succeed, given that Democrats now control the Senate. Still, the Republican opposition indicates th

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Redak staff

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