U.S. House lead impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) becomes emotional as he discusses his and his family’s experiences inside the U.S. Capitol building during the siege on Jan. 6 and his daughter subsequently telling him that she never wants to return to the building, as Raskin addresses the U.S. Senate at the start of the Senate’s second impeachment trial of former U.S. President Donald Trump, on charges of inciting the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol, on the floor of the Senate chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 9, 2021. U.S. Senate TV/Handout via Reuters

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

A majority of senators voted Tuesday that it was constitutional to impeach former President Donald Trump, opening the curtains to a trial accusing Trump of inciting a mob to overthrow the Capitol. But it was the memories of the attack, and not the chance to punish our nation’s former leader, that brought Rep. Jamie Raskin to tears. 

Jan. 6 was already a painful time for Raskin, D-Md., one of nine House impeachment managers: The day before the attack, he had buried his son, who took his own life in December. When the attack erupted, his daughter and son-in-law had to hide under a desk, where they texted him what they thought would be their final message. People around Raskin also called their families to say goodbye as rioters pounded on the door. 

“This cannot be the future of America,” Raskin said

Democrats opened their case with an explicit 13-minute video detailing the attack and how they believe Trump’s words incited it. Senators then voted to proceed with a 56-44 vote. The vote does appear to mean that Trump will be acquitted, as it takes more than a simple majority to convict. 

Trump’s legal team warned that a conviction of their client would “tear the country apart,” but they also acknowledged the horror displayed by the video.

“You will not hear any member of the team representing former President Trump say anything but in the strongest possible way denounce the violence of the rioters and those that breached the Capitol,” said Bruce Castor, Trump’s defense attorney.  

One of the arguments used by Democrats was the 1876 impeachment of William Belknap, former President Ulysses S. Grant’s secretary of war. Belknap was involved in a “kickback scheme,” argued Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Colo., a House impeachment manager. Belknap resigned, but the House unanimously impeached anyway to prevent him from holding office. Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York promised “powerful” new evidence against Trump during the trial. 

“Those who say, ‘let’s move on, that brings unity,’ are false,” Schumer said at a press conference on Tuesday morning. “When you have such a serious charge, sweeping it under the rug will not bring unity. It will keep the sore open, the wounds open. You need truth and accountability.”

President Joe Biden will not weigh in during the trial, as Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary, said he “is the president, he’s not a pundit.” 

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

This section includes an aggregation of articles showing different viewpoints on the topic.

Impeachment minefield awaits 2024 GOP field – Politico – 2/9/2021
Donald Trump’s acquittal in his impeachment trial is all but a sure thing. What’s still unsettled is how the Republican senators seeking to take his place in the 2024 presidential primary will navigate the minefield before the verdict is official.

Poll: 64% Say It Is Not Likely the Senate Will Convict Trump – Breitbart – 2/9/2021
A solid majority of U.S. voters believe it is unlikely the Senate will convict former President Donald Trump, a Rasmussen Reports survey released on the first day of the impeachment trial revealed.

My fellow Republicans, convicting Trump is necessary to save America – The Washington Post – 2/8/2021
Adam Kinzinger, a Republican, represents Illinois’s 16th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Winston Churchill famously said, “Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.” All Americans, but especially my fellow Republicans, should remember this wisdom during the Senate’s trial of former president Donald Trump.

Key arguments by Trump’s lawyers ahead of impeachment trial – Associated Press – 2/8/2021
His lawyers in a 78-page memorandum on Monday detailed a range of legal and factual arguments that they intend to make at trial.

The Secret History of the Shadow Campaign That Saved the 2020 Election – Time – 2/4/2021
A weird thing happened right after the Nov. 3 election: nothing. The nation was braced for chaos. Liberal groups had vowed to take to the streets, planning hundreds of protests across the country. Right-wing militias were girding for battle. In a poll before Election Day, 75% of Americans voiced concern about violence.

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

This section includes an aggregation of tweets showing different viewpoints on the topic.

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