Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said the Senate must convict President Trump of an impeachment charge in order to bar him using the prospect of a 2024 campaign to “poison the public arena” for the new Democratic White House and Congress.
“After what he has done, the consequences of which we were all witness to, Donald Trump should not be eligible to run for office ever again,” the New York Democrat said Tuesday.
Schumer will become the majority leader Wednesday afternoon after three new Senate Democrats are seated and incoming Vice President Kamala Harris becomes the 51st Democratic vote in a new 50-50 Senate.
Schumer made clear the Senate will hold an impeachment trial, although Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, has not indicated when she’ll send the House-passed article over to the Senate.
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“Let me be clear,” Schumer said. “There will be an impeachment trial in the United States Senate. There will be a vote on convicting the president for high crimes and misdemeanors.”
Schumer said if the Senate votes to convict Trump, which would require 67 votes, among them 17 Republicans, “there will be a vote on barring him from running again.”
Schumer will meet later Tuesday with McConnell to discuss the rules for an impeachment trial, which require some level of agreement between the two parties on rules and timing.
Schumer made clear during his floor speech Tuesday that the goal of an impeachment trial is to stop Trump from seeking office in 2024.
Trump has sent signals he may run again, and Schumer said the president continues to “falsely maintain” the election was stolen from him and falsely claimed by Democrat Joe Biden, who takes office Wednesday.
The House last week impeached Trump on one article, charging him with inciting an insurrection ahead of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by throngs of his supporters.
“Once he leaves office, do we really expect him to change his tune and accept the truth?” Schumer said. “Of course not. He will continue spreading lies about the election and stoking the grievances of his most radical supporters, using the prospect of a presidential run to poison the public arena at a time when we must get so much done.”
Schumer delivered the broadside against Trump after McConnell also blamed the president for the attack on the Capitol.
“This mob was fed lies,” McConnell said. “They were provoked by the president and other powerful people. And they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal government which they did not like.”
McConnell has indicated that he would hear the evidence provided during an impeachment trial before deciding whether to convict Trump.
Author: Susan Ferrechio
Source: Washington Examiner: Schumer: Trump must be blocked from running for president again