Closing their second day of arguments in former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, House Democrats warned of the real danger of acquittal.
Asking senators to weigh the threat of letting Trump’s incitement of an insurrection go unpunished, House impeachment managers detailed his history of stoking violence and the ongoing threat of domestic terrorism that his actions have encouraged. Their intent: making it clear that January 6 was an extension of a pattern — rather than an aberration — and could be repeated if consequences are not imposed.
“Senators, the evidence is clear,” Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CO) said in his closing statement. “We showed you statements, videos, affidavits that prove President Trump incited an insurrection — an insurrection that he alone had the power to stop.”
“We humbly, humbly ask you to convict President Trump for the crime for which he is overwhelmingly guilty,” Neguse continued. “Because if you don’t, if we pretend this didn’t happen — worse, if we let it go unanswered — who’s to say it won’t happen again?”
Some Republicans, including Trump’s defense lawyer Bruce Castor and Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), have suggested Democrats are only pursuing impeachment because they are worried about Trump running for president in 2024 and winning, as he did in 2016.
But Democrats responded directly to that line of thinking, arguing another Trump loss, rather than a victory, would be riskier for American democracy.
“President Trump’s lack of remorse shows that he will undoubtedly cause future harm if allowed, because he still refuses to account for his previous high, grave crime against our government,” Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) said. “I’m not afraid of Donald Trump running again in four years. I’m afraid he’s going to run again and lose — because he can do this again.”
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