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Durbin says he won't whip votes for Trump's second impeachment trial

Senate Democratic Whip, Dick DurbinDick DurbinDemocrats hit wall on voting rights push Democrats hear calls to nix recess 'Killibuster': Democratic angst grows as filibuster threatens agenda MORE (Ill.) said Sunday that he is not going to whip votes in his caucus in favor convicting President TrumpDonald Trump Pence said he's 'proud' Congress certified Biden's win on Jan. 6 Americans put the most trust in their doctor for COVID-19 information: poll OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Biden administration to evacuate Afghans who helped US l Serious differences remain between US and Iran on nuclear talks l US, Turkish officials meet to discuss security plans for Afghan airport MORE in his upcoming impeachment trial.

In an interview with CNN's "State of the Union," Durbin explained that the gravity of an impeachment vote was too great for Senate leadership to pressure members one way or the other.

“When it comes to an issue of this gravity and constitutional importance, members really have to follow their own conscience," Durbin told CNN's Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperBaltimore police chief calls for more 'boots on the ground' to handle crime wave Chuck Todd reluctant to 'ban' election deniers from 'Meet the Press' Police investigating death of TV anchor who uncovered Clinton tarmac meeting as suicide MORE. "It isn't a matter of saying, 'well, the team has to all vote together.'"

"We will, of course, try to find out how members feel, but in terms of arm-twisting, when it comes to impeachment, you just don't do that," he added.

Trump now faces an historic second impeachment trial in the Senate in the coming weeks despite his term ending on Wednesday. Democrats have vowed to pursue the measure in the hopes of preventing the president from running for office again.

Five people died including a Capitol Police officer during the Jan. 6 riot as supporters of the president stormed the building while lawmakers were in both chambers. A second Capitol Police officer who was on the scene died days later, the cause of which has not been revealed by the Capitol Police.

The House passed an article of impeachment against the president last week, charging him with inciting an insurrection. Ten House Republicans voted in favor of the article.