Democrats worry impeachment acquittal will embolden Trump
Senate Democrats are bracing for President Trump to seize on the outcome of the upcoming impeachment trial as a source of momentum for his reelection bid.
With 67 votes needed to convict and remove Trump from office, the trial’s outcome is largely pre-baked since Republicans hold a 53-47 majority in the chamber. Democrats are worried that an acquittal will only embolden the president, and they feel powerless to prevent it.
“No matter what we do, the president is going to say he did nothing wrong,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.).
“We all know the president,” said Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Senate Democrat. “If there are not 67 votes to convict in the Senate, he’ll claim that it was a witch hunt and that he was exonerated.”
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), when asked about the potential fallout from an acquittal, added: “I am worried about that, but I think this president feels unconstrained by anything already.”
Sen. Christopher Coons (D-Del.) said in a recent “Meet the Press” interview on NBC that he was “gravely concerned” about Trump’s potential behavior between the end of the Senate trial and the 2020 election.
“If he is ultimately exonerated in the Senate, if the Senate Republican majority refuses to discipline him through impeachment, he will be unbounded,” Coons said, predicting that there would be “no restrictions” on Trump’s behavior.
“If the Senate essentially treats this trial like a sham … doesn’t call witnesses and tries to end it quickly, tries to call witnesses that have nothing to do with the Ukraine matter and with these matters that we are discussing in these articles, then I think this just emboldens the president even further to continue to do what he’s doing,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) told MSNBC.
(Excerpt) Read more at thehill.com …
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