WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Following the filing of legal briefs ahead of former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial, both sides have ramped up their preparation efforts.
The legal briefs, filed by the House Impeachment Managers and Trump’s legal team revolve around whether the former president incited the Capitol riots. Republicans in the Senate backing Trump said they are unified in their defense.
“Our message has been that it’s not constitutional to impeach, and there’s no reason to impeach someone’s who’s already left office,” said Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD).
Rounds and others in the GOP have warned that if witnesses are brought in to the trial, they will push for FBI testimony that will supposedly show the riot was planned independently from anything Trump said. The former president’s legal team has argued Trump is not to blame for the riot. Moreover, the team has said it will block any attempts by the Democrats to use video footage from the event. Some Democrats, however, said the video makes the case clear.
“The questions about what the President did are very visible on videotape,” said Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI).
Others on the left have expressed doubts, however, that there will be enough votes to convict Trump.
“I’m very worried about going through this trial and having the punchline be, ‘Trump acquitted again,'” said Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA). “Susan Collins and I had come up with a very reasonable bipartisan approach that would condemn Donald […] that under the 14th Amendment would bar him from every running again.”
Kaine added that there is still not enough bipartisan support for a censure because many Republicans don’t want to stop Trump from running for office again.