Donald Trump, even from sunny Mar-a-Lago, maintains a massive grip on parts of Washington DC, and, more notably, the Republican Party.
Trump was an icon in certain circles of the GOP, and his bombastic, populist agenda brought a great many conservatives back into the party fold after years of being a “silent majority” of sorts. Now, after his wild and eventful last few weeks in office, the mainstream Republican Party seems ready to be done with him, but his direct bond with the MAGA movement allows Trump to remain relevant until so as-of-yet-unknown future moment.
Now Trump’s toying with the idea of starting a new, third party to directly compete with the GOP, and it has a few formerly pro-conviction Congresspersons reevaluating their relationship with Donald and his acolytes.
Several Republican senators Sunday discouraged suggestions that the chamber could convict former President Donald Trump in his impeachment trial.
“Well first of all, I think the trial is stupid,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said on “Fox News Sunday.” “I think it’s counterproductive. We already have a flaming fire in this country, and [impeachment is] taking a bunch of gasoline and pouring it on top of the fire.”
Rubio said that he believes Trump “bears responsibility for some of what happened” during the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol this month but that he does not believe impeachment is the right way to address the matter. He also said it would be “arrogant” to say Trump should be barred from running for federal office again.
Rubio wasn’t the only one.
Speaking on NBC News’ “Meet the Press,” Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., called the trial “a moot point.”
“Because I think right now Donald Trump is no longer the president. He is former president,” Rounds said, adding that he does not believe the impeachment of a former president is constitutionally viable and that a trial will take away from other agenda items for the Senate, including the confirmation of President Joe Biden’s Cabinet.
It is believed that the article of impeachment against Trump will be making its way to the Senate on Monday, triggering the next phase of the process.
Become an insider!
Sign up for our free email newsletter, and we'll make sure to keep you in the loop.