Impeachment trial underway with Trump in Florida

Herb Boyd | 2/11/2021, midnight
After House Impeachment managers Representatives Joe Neguse of Colorado and David Cicilline of Rhode Island delivered strong arguments to impeach ...

After House Impeachment managers Representatives Joe Neguse of Colorado and David Cicilline of Rhode Island delivered strong arguments to impeach Trump, Rep. Jamie Raskin, the Lead House Impeachment Manager returned to the podium to summarize and bolster what each of them had said Tuesday afternoon. During his opening remarks, Raskin put forth the chief article of impeachment that Trump’s words incited the violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Throughout his statement, Raskin fought back tears as he recounted his personal loss and the horrifying riot with his daughter and son-in-law with him in the building. Just a day before the insurrection he had buried his son, Tommy.  In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Raskin, still visibly shook, said, “I’m not going to lose my son at the end of 2020 and my country and my republic in 2021.”

If a trial of this nature can be said to have an emotional moment, this was it.

Earlier he had warmed to this account while recalling the tragic encounter. “Watching someone use an American flagpole, with the flag still on it, to spear one of our police officers ... people died that day. Officers ended up with brain damage. People’s eyes were gouged. One officer lost three fingers that day. Two officers have since taken their own lives. Senators, this cannot be our future. We cannot let a president incite violence against our government because they cannot accept the results of an election for president of the United States.”

After the House Managers completed their arguments that included footage from the violence, Trump’s defense took the Senate floor with Bruce Castor among the attorneys who argued that Trump cannot be impeached since he’s no longer in office.  Neguse during his time at the podium reviewed several precedents of impeachment of a government official who was no longer in office. That was a secretary of state under President Grant, though he was tried, he was eventually acquitted.

That scenario is expected to play out in this trial because it will be hard to convince 17 Republicans to join 50 Democrats in convicting Trump, who has refused to testify and is possibly watching the proceedings from his retreat in Florida.

How long the trial will last depends mainly on the extent of the arguments and the call of witnesses, and President Biden has expressed a concern that it be a short one. It could be over as early as the top of next week.