Officials brace for second Trump impeachment trial

Officials brace for second Trump impeachment trial
© Greg Nash

Democratic senators on Sunday outlined how the chamber plans to address President TrumpDonald TrumpGuardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa wins GOP primary in NYC mayor's race Garland dismisses broad review of politicization of DOJ under Trump Schumer vows next steps after 'ridiculous,' 'awful' GOP election bill filibuster MORE’s second impeachment trial, while Republican House members criticized the president in the wake of the deadly Capitol riot.

Senate Minority Whip Dick DurbinDick DurbinBiden administration to back bill ending crack, powder cocaine sentence disparity: report The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Democrats await Manchin decision on voting rights bill Supreme Court battle could wreak havoc with Biden's 2020 agenda MORE (D-Ill.) said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that he would not whip votes in his caucus during the trial, saying he thought it was too important of an act to apply pressure to members to convict.

“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.'"

“[I]n terms of arm-twisting, when it comes to impeachment, you just don't do that," he added.

The Senate is set to hold Trump’s impeachment trial at a time to officially be determined. The move is unprecedented, both as the first time a president has been impeached twice and the first time a trial has occurred after a president leaves office. While any potential conviction would occur after Trump is no longer president, it would also prevent the president from seeking office again.

Sen. Cory BookerCory BookerHarris casts tiebreaking vote to confirm OPM nominee White House says Biden crime address won't undercut police reform bill Racial reparations at the USDA MORE (D-N.J.), appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” addressed his colleague Sen. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonSenate Republicans: Newly proposed ATF rules could pave way for national gun registry Jon Stewart shows late-night conformity cabal how political comedy is done The Hill's Morning Report - After high-stakes Biden-Putin summit, what now? MORE’s (R-Ark.) argument that a post-presidency conviction would be unconstitutional.

“We just had a president of the United States try to undermine the peaceful transition of power. Try to challenge a fair and free election, and him and his agents, in the moments before from his son to his lawyer, whipping up a crowd to go attack the Capitol,” Booker told NBC’s Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddChuck Todd reluctant to 'ban' election deniers from 'Meet the Press' Portman: Republicans are 'absolutely' committed to bipartisan infrastructure bill Sanders against infrastructure deal with more gas taxes, electric vehicle fees MORE. “So, I believe fundamentally the Senate has an obligation to act.”

“You need the Republican leader to cooperate in terms of time agreements. But I fully expect it to happen as quickly as possible. And I think what else is going to happen is that we're going to be able to do a lot of things at once. I think we should,” added Booker. “If we can get the time agreements from our Republican leader, we can actually hold impeachment trials as well as do other urgently critical things like getting key national security personnel confirmed as well.”

GOP consultant Karl RoveKarl Christian RoveThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden mission abroad: reward friends, constrain adversaries Biden's 2022 problem: Even some liberals are starting to say 'Enough!' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Citizens' Climate Lobby - Biden floats infrastructure, tax concessions to GOP MORE, meanwhile, suggested that if the president’s defense is led by his personal attorney, Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiGuardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa wins GOP primary in NYC mayor's race The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Democrats await Manchin decision on voting rights bill Newsmax hires Jenna Ellis, Hogan Gidley as contributors MORE, the Senate would be more likely to vote to convict.

“I think it’s all going to boil down to what the president’s defense is,” Rove said on “Fox News Sunday,” adding “Rudy Giuliani charted a very bad course in the morning papers.”

Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Mich.), one of 10 House Republicans to vote to impeach Trump last week, acknowledged that he “very may well have” ended his own political career with the decision.

“But I think it's also important that we have elected leaders who are not thinking solely about what's in their individual self-interest, not what is going to be politically expedient, but what we actually need for the country,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.”

“[T]he president brought some necessary energy. He brought some necessary ideas. He shook the tree. He was a change agent,” Meijer told ABC’s George StephanopoulosGeorge Robert StephanopoulosSullivan: Comments by North Korea's Kim an 'interesting signal' Facebook VP says 2-year suspension of Trump from platform 'justified' Commerce secretary on cyberattacks against corporations: 'This is the reality' MORE. “The challenge was that he didn't know when to stop, and he didn't draw a line, and to me, political violence is the line that we must draw.”

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.), meanwhile, said she believed the president had endangered the lives of members of Congress and that, while she did not vote to impeach him, she believed censure would have been appropriate.

“We feared for our lives, many of us that day and our staff. And, as you know, my children were supposed to be up there,” she said on “Meet the Press.” “And if they had been there like they were supposed to be, I would have been devastated. And so we do need to find a way to hold the president accountable.”