Even after leaving the White House in disgrace after instigating a riot that threatened the safety of Congress, Trump's influence over the GOP seemingly remains a steady, potent force. — John Haltiwanger, Business Insider Senior Politics Reporter
Even after leaving the White House in disgrace after instigating a riot that threatened the safety of Congress, Trump's influence over the GOP seemingly remains a steady, potent force. — John Haltiwanger, Business Insider Senior Politics Reporter
Key Republicans went from blaming Trump for the deadly Capitol attack to fighting his impeachment in just 3 weeks
  • Top Republicans have rapidly shifted from blaming Trump for the Capitol attack to bashing Democrats for impeaching him over it.
  • As the initial shock over the riot has faded, the tone from Republicans has changed dramatically.
  • House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy went from saying Trump "bears responsibility" to "everybody" has some responsibility.
In the immediate aftermath of the violent insurrection at the US Capitol, top Republicans who'd been steadfast allies of President Donald Trump ripped into him for inciting the deadly attack. But just a few weeks later, they're already singing a different tune as the Senate prepares for Trump's impeachment trial.

... There was a strong push from congressional lawmakers to rapidly hold Trump accountable in the wake of the Capitol attack, including from some Republicans, and for the impeachment process to occur swiftly.


The article of impeachment has been delivered to the Senate, but Trump's trial has been delayed until February 9. With the trial pushed back, and the initial shock of the events of January 6 fading, a door has opened for Republicans to return to their previous, unwavering support of Trump.

Seventeen Senate Republicans would need to join all 50 Democrats in the upper chamber to convict Trump, which could be followed by a vote (requiring a simple majority) to disqualify the former president from holding office in the future. With no Republicans publicly supporting conviction so far, it seems more and more unlikely enough Republicans will join Democrats to convict him.

And instead of attempting to defend Trump's actions, many Republicans are going after the process and contending that it's unconstitutional to hold an impeachment trial after a president has left office.


"I believe post-presidential impeachments are blatantly unconstitutional," Graham said in a recent tweet.

But there's a historical precedent for doing so, and legal experts have dismissed the notion it's unconstitutional.

"This argument is wrong as a matter of text, structure, historical practice and common sense," Steve Vladeck, a professor at the University of Texas School of Law, wrote in a New York Times op-ed rejecting the GOP argument it's too late to hold an impeachment trial. "And Mr. Trump is the poster child for why, even after he leaves office, such accountability is not just constitutionally permissible but necessary."

"It's ultimately Congress's call — for former officers as much as current ones," Vladeck said.

... The president made a reference to "peacefully" demonstrating during his remarks that day, which a number of House Republicans zeroed in on in Trump's defense, but it was a fleeting moment in an otherwise provocative, lie-filled speech that induced what's been widely characterized as an attempted coup.

Ten Republicans voted to impeach Trump. It was the most bipartisan impeachment of a president in US history. They're already facing primary challenges over the move and heavy criticism from the GOP in their home states. Trump's allies in the House are pushing for GOP Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the number three Republican in the lower chamber, to be ousted as House Republican Conference Chair over her vote to impeach.

Even after leaving the White House in disgrace after instigating a riot that threatened the safety of Congress, Trump's influence over the GOP seemingly remains a steady, potent force.
Read the full article: https://www.businessinsider.com/gop-went-from-blaming-trump-capitol-attack-fighting-his-impeachment-2021-1