WASHINGTON – The gavel-to-gavel television coverage of his impeachment trial in the week returned former President Donald Trump to the place he loves best: the political spotlight.
The historic first impeachment, which began on Tuesday, focuses on accusations that he incited a violent insurrection Jan. 6 together with his actions and letters before the assault on the Capitol by pro-Trump rioters seeking to turn the presidential vote.
Democrats, and a few Republicans, say his actions should bar him from future office and render his support radioactive. Supporters call the trial a election-style attack which will likely help Trump politically, a minimum of among Republican voters.
Most people expect Trump to be acquitted, but the Senate trial is not just about the decision .
It’s about Trump’s political potency within the future, one that a lot of analysts believe are going to be weakened due to his efforts to overturn his election loss to Joe Biden and his repeated calls to his supporters to return to Washington on Jan. electoral count.
Norm Eisen, a senior fellow at The Brookings Institution and a former special impeachment counsel, said Trump’s exhortations to the gang fit a “pattern” of disdain for the democratic process.
There could also be some backlash to the trial by members of Trump’s “dwindling” base of supporters, Eisen said, but most Americans will remain appalled by his behavior.
Some Republicans said the insurrection is reason enough for his or her party to shun Trump in future elections.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., one among the ten House Republicans who voted for impeachment, wrote during a Washington Post op-ed that the very way forward for democracy is at stake.
If Republicans don’t hold the previous president accountable, Kinzinger wrote, “the chaos of the past few months, and therefore the past four years, could quickly return.”
The trial is that the last act of Trump’s convulsive presidency, but his supporters also see it because the start of his comeback.
Boris Epshteyn, a former special assistant to Trump, said, “The 45th president goes to return out of this stronger long-term because the Democrats are overreaching, as they always do.”
But impeachment supporters said Trump’s role in encouraging the gang on Jan. 6, and claiming that the election had been “stolen” from him, leaves him and his followers unfit for public life. They argue Trump turned his back on democracy by advocating for the cancellation of a democratic election – and voters should always remember .
Prosecutors can’t remove Trump from office; his term expired Jan. 20.