News reports from the Capitol riots have made for an insane two weeks of headlines, but without question, the spotlight is on the upcoming impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, who Democrats claim “incited” the events that led up to the tragic and deadly day in America.
According to The Hill, it’s still unclear how a Senate impeachment trial will ultimately shake out, but Senate Democratic Whip, Dick Durbin (D-IL) broke down and revealed over the weekend that he will not attempt to whip Senate Democrats into voting in favor of impeachment, indicating that business of such seriousness requires each senator to vote their conscience.
“When it comes to an issue of this gravity and constitutional importance, members really have to follow their own conscience,” Durbin said during an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper. “It isn’t a matter of saying, ‘well, the team has to all vote together.'”
Durbin went on to tell Tapper that Democratic leadership in the upper chamber will be interested to know how their members are feeling about the matter.
“We will, of course, try to find out how members feel, but in terms of arm-twisting, when it comes to impeachment, you just don’t do that,” Durbin added.
As The Hill reported over the weekend, it’s still unclear when the Senate will convene for Trump’s unprecedented second impeachment trial, as his departure from the White House on Wednesday complicates matters, given that Congress will then be in uncharted territory, as a president has never faced trial after he or she has left the office.
Republican strategists such as Karl Rove believe that Trump’s chances of being convicted in a Senate trial rest solely on who represents him, adding that if it’s someone like Rudy Giuliani — a prolific pusher of election fraud conspiracy theories — the Senate would be more likely to gain Republican support and convict.
While Trump will already officially be a civilian and out of the White House by the time the Senate begins trial proceedings, thus unable to be removed from office, a successful conviction is still of the utmost importance to Democrats as it would mean he can’t run for re-election in 2024.