In a statement Saturday, Trump, who now lives at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, said he would make the 5,000-mile journey to Alaska to campaign against Sen. Murkowski, who is running in the November 2022 Senate elections.
“I will not be endorsing, under any circumstances, the failed candidate from the great State of Alaska, Lisa Murkowski. She represents her state badly and her country even worse, Trump told Politico.
“I do not know where other people will be next year, but I know where I will be – in Alaska campaigning against a disloyal and very bad Senator.”
“While the final vote did not lead to a conviction, the substance of the charge is not in dispute,” Biden said in the statement, noting Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s remarks from earlier in the day.
McConnell, who voted to acquit, said Trump is “practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day.”
Trump’s acquittal came one month after the House of Representatives voted to impeach him over incitement of insurrection, in a historically bipartisan vote.
The Senate trial was also the most bipartisan in US history, with seven Republicans joining all 50 Democrats to vote to convict Trump. The Senate needed 67 votes for a conviction, but 43 GOP senators voted to acquit.
In the statement, Biden recalled attending the funeral of Brian Sicknick, the Capitol police officer who died during the attack.
“Tonight, I am thinking about those who bravely stood guard that January day. I’m thinking about all those who lost their lives, all those whose lives were threatened, and all those who are still today living with the terror they lived through that day.” Biden said.
He also said “this sad chapter in our history has reminded us that democracy is fragile,” and that “violence and extremism” do not belong in the US.
“And that each of us has a duty and responsibility as Americans, and especially as leaders, to defend the truth and to defeat the lies,” Biden said.
“That is how we end this uncivil war and heal the very soul of our nation,” he said, adding that Americans must undertake that task together.
Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville on Friday repeated his assertion that he informed President Donald Trump of Vice President Mike Pence’s evacuation from the Senate during the Capitol siege. Trump’s team had cast doubt on the claim during their defense.
“I said: Mr. President, they’ve taken the vice president out. They want me to get off the phone, I gotta go,” Tuberville said, according to CNN and other accounts. Tuberville also said he was “probably the only guy in the world” to hang up on the president.
The phone call, and the timeline, have come under scrutiny during Trump’s impeachment trial, as senators question if Trump knew Pence was in danger from the violent mob when he sent out a tweet attacking the vice president.
“Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution,” Trump tweeted at 2:24 p.m. on January 6, as a mob of his supporters closed in on the Senate chamber. Pence was evacuated at about 2:15 p.m. local time.
Tuberville first revealed Wednesday evening he had informed Trump of Pence’s evacuation in real time. The president had called the Alabama senator to encourage him to protest the certification of the election.
GOP Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana asked Trump’s lawyers and the impeachment managers specifically about the tweet during the questioning portion of the trial Friday.
“The tweet and lack of response suggest President Trump did not care that Vice President Pence was endangered or that law enforcement was overwhelmed,” Cassidy said. “Does this show that President Trump was tolerant of the intimidation of Vice President Pence?”
Trump’s defense lawyer Michael van der Veen disputed the facts of the timeline that Cassidy presented, calling Tuberville’s claim “hearsay.”
Following the exchange, reporters questioned Tuberville about the phone call, prompting him to reiterate his version of the events.
Some lawmakers were also dissatisfied with the response of Trump’s lawyers.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren told reporters she did not think the response was adequate and that the question was important, but “Donald Trump’s lawyers simply, once again, tried to distract, look another way, and take attention away from the underlying question about what the evidence showed that Donald Trump knew and when he knew it.”
Independent Sen. Angus King told also reporters he thought the question was important and that the response of Trump’s lawyers was insufficient.
As the fourth day of former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial came to a close, more and more Republican senators indicated they had already come to a final decision on whether or not they’ll vote to acquit or convict the former president.
Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, who surprised many earlier this week by breaking with most Republicans to vote for the trial to continue, was photographed Friday holding a document that seemed to show support for Trump’s eventual acquittal.
Washington Post photographer Jabin Botsford captured a photo of the senator holding a document that seemed to describe reasoning for acquitting Trump.
The sheet of paper he was holding said “President Trump and many others certainly contributed to the environment,” by engaging in “excessive and unnecessary rhetoric before and after the election,” the draft also said that “House Managers did not connect the dots to show President Trump knew that the attack on the Capitol was going to be violent and result in the loss of life.”
Cassidy’s behavior throughout the trial this week suggested he had not yet made up his mind one way or another. The Washington Post reported that his “agony and internal deliberations” were playing out on the Senate floor in real-time.
He reportedly paced in the back of the chamber during much of the proceedings, took vigorous notes, and was visibly troubled while the prosecution played never-before-seen footage from the January 6 attack on the Capitol.
Cassidy had been the lone senator to switch his position on whether he believed the impeachment trial was constitutional. After what he called a “great job” by the House impeachment managers on Tuesday, Cassidy joined five other Republicans and all 50 Democrats to vote in favor of the trial proceeding.
According to The Post, Cassidy told reporters Friday night that the document seen in his hand was not indicative of any final decision and that he remained undecided. A spokesperson for his office tweeted that the lawmaker was “reviewing memos from both points of view as part of his thought process before coming to a conclusion.”
But even if Cassidy is still undecided, others within the party have signaled – or downright said – that their minds are already made up.
Some senators are more focused on the question of constitutionality than evidence
Though the question of constitutionality was settled by the Senate on Tuesday in a 56-44 vote, some of the most vocal critics of the trial have made it clear that no evidence, nor argument presented by impeachment managers will sway them from voting to acquit Trump.
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas told The Post that the trial was a waste of time and is the result of “partisan anger” from congressional Democrats and has been clear from the start how he would vote. “The result of this trial is preordained,” Cruz told the outlet on Thursday. “President Trump will be acquitted.”
Similarly, Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri was clear he had made up his mind by day two of the trial. “If you don’t have jurisdiction, that’s just the end of the call,” he told the outlet Wednesday.
And Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota, when asked by The Post, once again emphasized his objection to the constitutionality of the trial.
Despite praise for House impeachment managers, many minds have already been made up
Other Republicans praised the prosecution’s work, calling it “well done” and “impressive.” But not even their own accolades for the House managers suggest they’ll vote to convict.
Sen. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota applauded the impeachment managers’ work but said it would not impact his final decision, nor did it affect him “in terms of how I feel about the president’s culpability. That’s what’s on trial,” he told The Post.
Sen. Jame Inhofe of Oklahoma also praised the prosecution’s work, saying they had “put a real good team together,” but told the outlet that didn’t change his mind on the matter.
“We’ve had all this time for everyone to use every possible argument they could use. So I’ve heard them all,” he told the newspaper.
Others, too, have made statements suggesting they’re moving closer to a final decision.
Sen. John Thune of South Dakota told Roll Call’s Lindsey McPherson that the performance by the defense on Friday was much better than the widely criticized, rambling opening statements Trump’s attorneys gave on Tuesday. “I don’t know at this point how many minds get changed,” he said.
Even with some potential bipartisan support, it’s unlikely Trump will be convicted
Though it seems nearly impossible that Democrats will convince 17 Republicans, the magic number needed for a two-thirds vote, to convict Trump of incitement, there are some Republicans who seem open to the idea.
Following the prosecution’s arguments Wednesday, which included chilling new video and audio from the Capitol siege, Sen. Lisa Murkowski told reporters she was left “angry,” “disturbed,” and “sad.”
“The evidence that has been presented thus far is pretty damning,” she said.
Politico reported Friday that Republicans are privately estimating between 5 to 10 GOP senators are seriously considering voting to convict.
Now that oral arguments and questioning have ended, both sides will have two hours each to make closing arguments, and a final vote on whether to convict or acquit the former president is expected this weekend. It’s unclear if there will be a vote to call witnesses.
During the second day of former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial, Democratic impeachment managers shared a trove of previously-unseen video footage from inside the Capitol on January 6.
Yesterday, the Senate voted that the impeachment trial was constitutional, and on Wednesday, Democrats continued to make their case that Trump incited an insurrection against the US government.
The videos shown on Wednesday included body camera footage from police officers who were assaulted inside and outside the Capitol and security camera footage from inside the building. One video showed Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman sprinting towards Sen. Mitt Romney, ushering him down a hallway away from the impending mob.
Impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin made the case today that Trump directed rioters to storm the Capitol. “He told them to fight like hell and they brought us hell,” said Raskin. Other lawmakers offered emotional reactions to the videos and between sessions or showed their emotions while they served as jurors for the trial.
Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma
After watching a video of Capitol Police Officer Hodges being smashed in between a door by rioters, Lankford told reporters, “It’s painful to see … Who in God’s name thinks, ‘I’m going to show that I’m right by smashing into the Capitol’? Who would do that?” Sens. Dick Durbin and Kirsten Gillibrand reportedly looked away when Hodges was being crushed in the video.
Andrew Desiderio, a reporter for Politico, said that Lankford was “incredibly shaken up,” and appeared to get teary-eyed, with Sen. Steve Daines of Montana comforting him and holding his arm. Lankford also reportedly looked down and shook his head after watching a video of Ashli Babbitt being shot outside the House chamber.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York
One of the videos, paired with a graphic mapping the locations of senators and rioters, showed Schumer coming in close proximity with the path of the mob before he turns and runs away with aides.
“I don’t think many of us feel like eating dinner,” Schumer told NBC News during the trial’s dinner break.
Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah
Sen. Mitt Romney was one of the senators who admitted Wednesday that he was not aware of how close the mob was to him prior to seeing the security footage.
Asked about Officer Goodman, Romney said, “I look forward to thanking him when I next see him,” adding that he was very fortunate. Romney also said the video presentation was “overwhelmingly distressing and emotional.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina
Sen. Graham called the presentation and footage “hypocritical.” He showed anger at the footage and said Capitol Police had the right to use deadly force on rioters.
“I got mad. I mean, these police officers had every right to use deadly force. They should have used it,” he said to reporters on Capitol Hill. “The people in charge of securing the Capitol let the country down.”
Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
Sen. Lisa Murkowski said that impeachment managers have made “a strong case.”
“We lived this once and that was awful. And we’re now we’re living with a more comprehensive timeline. I’m angry. I’m disturbed. I’m sad,” Murkowski told reporters outside the Senate halls. “I don’t see how Donald Trump could be re-elected to the presidency again.”
Telling reporters about the atmosphere on the Senate floor, Collins said, “It was extremely quiet – you could have heard a pin drop.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachussetts
Emily Cochrane, a reporter for the New York Times, said that Elizabeth Warren was gripping her armrest with her right hand, and later began fiddling with her fingers while being shown videos early on in the day.
Sen. Warren later told pool reporters that, “It was so hard to watch people who were terrified, people who were hurt, by people who were under threat. And then to try and make eye contact with Republicans who just wanted to look off.”
Sen. Bill Cassidy of Iowa
During a video showing the attack on the House chamber, Sen. Cassidy reportedly hung his head according to Lisa Desjardins, a reporter for PBS NewsHour. Cassidy later shook his head while listening to police dispatch audio, and according to Eliza Collins at the Wall Street Journal, Cassidy frequently put his hands in a prayer motion while watching later videos.
Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio
Sen. Rob Portman was also moved after rewatching the footage, he told pool reporters he felt he was “reliving a horrible day, a horrible day.”
Portman added that he checked in with staffers after realizing the danger many of them face being barricaded in rooms.
“That’s, that’s not easy. I talked to some leadership staff, and they were, you know, in their offices, and people were banging on the doors. And that was, that was a lot more frightening,” Portman said.
Bannon could be facing legal woes of his own. He is under investigation in New York for a fund-raising scheme that allegedly defrauded people who had donated towards the building of Trump’s border wall between the US and Mexico, according to reports.
Five attorneys have abandoned former President Donald Trump’s impeachment defense team just days ahead of his trial in the Senate, CNN reported Saturday night.
The departures reportedly occurred after disagreements over the defense strategy.
Trump had wanted his legal team to focus on false claims that the election had been stolen from him, rather than the question of whether it was legal to convict a president no longer in office, both CNN and the New York Times reported, citing sources familiar with the matter. The Times added that one person close to Trump disputed that characterization.
Former Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller responded to news of the departures on Saturday, tweeting that the legal team hadn’t yet been finalized.
“We have done much work, but have not made a final decision on our legal team, which will be made shortly,” he said.
CNN identified the departed lawyers as Butch Bowers, Deborah Barbier, Johnny Gasser, and Greg Harris of South Carolina, and Josh Howard of North Carolina. Bowers and Barbier parted ways from the defense team in a “mutual decision,” according to the Associated Press, citing a person familiar with the situation.
President Joe Biden said the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump “has to happen,” CNN reported Monday.
Biden made the remark on the impending impeachment trial to CNN’s Kaitlin Collins in the halls of the West Wing as House impeachment managers transmitted the article of impeachment against Trump on Monday.
The former president was impeached in January for “incitement of insurrection” in relation to the deadly storming of the Capitol building on January 6.
Senators will be sworn in as jurors in the trial on Tuesday. Senator Patrick Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont and Senate president pro tempore, will preside over the trial.
Although Democrats have regained control of the Senate, a two-thirds majority vote is required to convict the former president according to the Constitution. Biden told CNN that he doesn’t think 17 Republican lawmakers will vote to convict Trump, adding that he thinks the result of the trial would be different had Trump had six months left in his term.
“The Senate has changed since I was there, but it hasn’t changed that much,” Biden said.