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tv   Reaction to Opening of Senate Impeachment Trial  CSPAN  January 25, 2021 8:08pm-8:42pm EST

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butch bowers and has experience in the state and representing two former governors, governor nikki haley in 2012 and before that the former governor mark sanford in an ethics investigation in south carolina. that is butch bowers of south carolina. as we mentioned, at about 7:00 o'clock this evening the house managers made their way from the u.s. house across the capital to deliver the article of impeachment.
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[background noises] >> the hour of 7:00 p.m. has arrived. the acting sergeant and arms will present the managers on the part of the house of representatives. >> mr. president and members of
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the senate, i announce the presence of the managers on the part of the house of representatives to conduct proceedings on behalf of the house concerning the impeachment of donald john trump, former president of the united states. >> the managers on the part of the house will be received and escorted to the wall of the senate. >> sergeant at arm's will make the population.
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>> hear ye, hear ye, hear ye. all persons are commanded to keep silent on pain of imprisonment while the house of representatives is exhibiting to the senate of the united states and article of impeachment against donald john trump, former president of the united states. >> the managers on a part of the house will proceed. >> mr. president, the managers and the part of the house of representatives are here and present and ready to present the articles of impeachment which has been preferred by the house of representatives against donald john trump former president of the united states. the house adopted the following
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resolution which with the tradition of the senate i will read. house resolution 40 and house of representatives united states january 13, 2021 resolve that mr. raskin, mr. to get, mistresses cellini, mr. castro of texas, mr. swallow well, mr. lou, misty and our appointed managers to conduct the impeachment trial against donald john trump, president of the united states. the message be sent to the senate to inform the senate of the appointments and that the managers so appointed may in connection with the preparation and the conduct of the trial exhibit the article of impeachment to the senate and take all other actions necessary which may include the following employing legal clerical and other necessary assistance, incurring such other expenses as may be necessary to be paid for the amounts available on the judiciary under applicable expense resolutions or from the applicable accounts of the house of representatives. two sending persons in papers
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and filings with the secretary of the senate on the part of the house of representatives any pleadings in conjunction with or sets of it good to the exhibition of the articles of impeachment, managers consider necessary. nancy pelosi, speaker of house of representatives with the permission of the senate i will now read the article of impeachment could house resolution 24 and house of representatives united states january 13, 2021. resolve, donald john trump president of the united states is impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors and that the following articles of impeachment be exhibited to the united state senate. article of impeachment exhibited by the house of representatives of the united states of america in the name of itself and of the people of the united states of america against donald john trump, president of the united states of america in maintenance and support of its impeachment against him or high crimes and misdemeanors. article one, incitement of insurrection.
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the constitution provides that the house of representatives shall have the sole power of impeachment of the president shall be removed from office on impeachment for and conviction of treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors. further, section three of the 14th amendment to the constitution prohibits any person who has quote, engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the united states from holding any office under the united states. in his conduct while president of the united states and in violation of its constitutional oath bailey to execute the office of the president of the united states and to the best of his ability preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the united states and in violation of the constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed donald john trump engaged in high crimes and misdemeanors by inciting violence against the government of the united states. in that, on january 6, 2021
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pursuant to the 12 of them and to the constitution of the united states the vice president of the united states the house of representatives and the senate met at the new united states capitol for a joint session of congress to count to the votes of the electoral college in the months preceding the joint session president trump repeatedly issued false statements asserting that the presidential election results were the product of widespread fraud and should not be accepted by the american people or certified by state or federal officials. shortly before the joint session commenced president trump addressed a crowd at the ellipse at washington dc. there he reiterated false claims that we won this election and that we wanted by a landslide. he also made statements that in context encouraged a foreseeably resulted in lawless action at the capital such as if you don't fight like hell, you are not going to have a country anymore.
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thus incited members of the crowd he addressed in an attempt to among other objective interfered with the joint sessions solemn constitutional duty to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election unlawfully breached and vandalized the capital, injured and killed law enforcement personnel, memphis vice president and congressional personnel and engaged in other violent, deadly, destructive and seditious acts. president trump's conduct and generate six, 2021 followed a prior efforts to subvert and obstruct the certification of the results of the 2020 presidential election. those prior efforts included a phone call in january 2, 2021 during which president trump urged the secretary of state of georgia to quote, find enough votes to overturn the georgia
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presidential election results and threaten secretary raskin if he failed to do so. in all this president trump bravely endangered the security of the united states and its institutions of government per he the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power and imperiled a coequal branch of government for he thereby betrayed his trust as president to the manifest injury of the people of the united states wherefore, donald john trump by such conduct has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security, democracy and the constitution if allowed to remain in office and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law. donald john trump warns impeachment and trial, removal from office and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office honor, trust or profit under the united states. nancy pelosi, speaker of house
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of representatives. mr. president, that completes the exhibition of the article of impeachment against donald john trump, president of the united states and the managers request the senate take order for the trial and the managers now request leave to withdraw. >> and q, mr. raskin. the senate will duly notify the house of representatives who is ready to proceed with the trial. i thank you.
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>> presiding in the senate there is jamie raskin in the article of impeachment was patrick leahy. he is the senator from vermont and the president pro tem porta the president pro tem of the u.s. senate, a position that serves in place of the vice president and the actual president of the senate and the vice president is not there which is most times the president pro tem overseas the conducting of business in the u.s. senate has been selective by the majority leader, by senator chuck schumer to preside over the impeachment trial of former president donald john trump. on that the president pro tem, pat leahy said i consider holding the office of the president of pro tem and the responsible of these that come with it to be one of the highest honors and most serious responsibilities of my career when i do preside over the impeachment trial of donald trump i will not waiver from my
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constitutional and sworn allegation to administer the trial with fairness in accordance with the constitution and the laws. we will first see some of that tomorrow per the house is coming in tomorrow morning at ten eastern will take up the nomination of anthony lincoln to be secretary of state and that will be the morning activity. in the afternoon they will vote on that nomination shortly afternoon and later at 2:30 p.m. they will convene as the trial of donald john trump and will swear in the senators, the president pro tem pat leahy will administer the oath and then there could be a bit of wrangling in terms of moving forward and chuck schumer, majority leader, alluded to it as he closed his remarks this evening. this could be part of it. it is rand paul in a tree from earlier saying this -- i object to the unconstitutional scam of an impeachment trial and will force a vote on whether the senate can hold a trial of a private citizen. chuck schumer addressed some of
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those concerns earlier in his opening remarks earlier today on the senate floor. >> the senate will conduct a timely and fair trial. i want to be very clear about that because some of my republican colleagues have latched on to a fringe legal theory that the senate does not have the constitutional power to hold a trial because donald trump is no longer in office. this argument has been roundly debunked by constitutional scholars from the left, right and center. it defies president, historic practice in basic common sense. it makes no sense whatsoever that a president or any official could commit a heinous crime against our country and then defeat congress impeachment powers by simply resigning. as to avoid accountability and a vote to disqualify them from future office. this is not merely a hypothetical situation, madam president. in 1876 president grant secretary of war implicated in a
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corruption scheme literally raced through the white house to tender his resignation mere minutes before the house was set to vote on his impeachment. then, as a matter of historical record, he burst into tears. not only did a house move forward with the impeachment articles against him but a trial was then convened in the senate. of course, the question came up as to whether the senate could try officials. good try former officials. guess what? the senate voted as a chamber and mr. belknap could be tried quote, for acts done secretary of war, notwithstanding his resignation of said office. those are words of the senate voted in 1876. now mr. belknap was audibly acquitted but the record is clear per the senate decided it had the power to try former officials and the reasons are obvious.
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a president or any official could, for example, until their final two weeks in office to betray their country knowing they could escape accountability or merely resigned moments before the senate decides to convict and disqualify them from future office. the theory that the senate can try former officials would amount to a constitutional get out of jail free card for any president who commits an impeachable offense. now, it is certainly appropriate for the senate to take the resignation of an official into account and after all, the house decided not to impeach richard nixon because in that sense nixon took some responsibilities for his action. to state the obvious, president trump did not resign and has not demonstrated remorse and he is not even acknowledged his role in the events of january 6 and has never disavowed the lies that were fed to the american people by him about who actually won the election. just to put a final nail into
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the coffin of this ridiculous theory, i remind my colleagues that if a president is convicted on an article of impeachment the senate holds a separate vote on whether to bar them from future office. once a president is convicted of an impeachment charge they are removed from office. in other words, they become a former official. if we are to believe that the senate can't hold former officials to account than the senate can ever proceed to that second vote of disqualification which is provided for in the constitution even for a sitting president. in saying this i'm expressing the view of legal scholars across the political spectrum, a prominent constitutional expert at the university of texas wrote in "the new york times" that donald trump's quote, the poster child for why the conviction of an ex-president is not just constitutionally permissible but necessary. more than one under 50 legal scholars assigned a letter last week forcefully stating that in
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impeachment trial of a former president is constitutional. among the signatories one of the cofounders of the federalist society as well as one of president reagan's solicitor generals among other prominent conservatives. it is so obviously wrong to suggest that impeaching a president is unconstitutional. or in teaching a former president is unconstitutional. why are some suggesting it? well, there seems to be a desire on the political right to avoid passing judgment one way or the other on former president trump and his role in fomenting the despicable attack on the capitol on january 6. there seems to be some hope that republicans could pose the former presidents impeachment on process grounds, rather than grappling with his actual, awful conduct. let me be very clear, this is not going to fly. the trial will happen. it is certain and clearly constitutional and of the former
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president is convicted there will be a vote to disqualify him from future office. there is only one question at stake, only one question that senators of both parties will have to answer before god in their own conscience, is former president trump guilty of inciting and insurrection against the united states? >> that is the senate majority leader at the start, 3:00 p.m. eastern a historic day in the senate. number one, they approve the nomination and confirm the nomination of janet yellen to be the next treasury secretary, a vote of 84-15 and she becomes or will become the first female to head the treasury department and 231 year history and also today, earlier this evening, for the first time the senate heard an impeachment resolution or impeachment article against a former president read by congressman jamie raskin of maryland ahead of the trial of
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former president donald trump. off the floor today, announcement of another senator who will not be running for reelection in 2022. joining richard burr of north caroline and pat toomey of pennsylvania rob portman of ohio saying that he won't run for reelection because of quote, partisan gridlock. in that writing from axial's about how about you may play out in the impeachment proceedings coming up and they say rob portman was one of the replicant senator said that former president trump for bears some responsibility for the january 6 capital riots. you can read more in access .com. you can read more from bloomberg senate reporter steven dennis was cover the senate. we talked to him earlier this evening for a look at what might be ahead in the senate trial. >> we are joined next by steven dennis who is bloomberg senate reporter covering the senate side of things and steven did get is that ritual but not that all unfamiliar because it
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happened a little over a year ago in the impeachment, original impeachment of then president trump but in all new territory here for everyone, historic territory. what president do you think the senate democrats will use in their proceedings against a former president? >> you know, i think this will be a very different trial than we saw last year even though this was a very similar flight -- site to see with the somber procession across the capital but the one difference being that they did not have a large chunks of evidence because you know, this trial, this impeachment is basically based on what everybody saw and heard on january 6. it is something that viscerally happen to every lawmaker has they were chased out of the building essentially and what trump did and did not do on the day first with his speech and
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then as they were sort of cowering in the secure rooms, a number were trying to reach the president and trying to get him to get people to tell people to leave the building and it took hours for him to do that. there is a lot of bipartisan anger in the senate and in the house. ten people vote for impeachment, ten republicans but, you know, the circumstances here were he is in ex-president has given a lot of republicans were sort of an easy out here and a lot of republicans are saying that it would be either divisive, unwise or even unconstitutional to have a trial and to convict the ex-president and so i think for democrats they were trying to extend the trial last time around and they wanted to have a lot of witnesses brought in and
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wanted to have subpoenas and they wanted to really continue digging. this time around they've got the senate majority and they have the white house and they have the house and they have all the agenda they want to pass the virus relief package and confirmations and so i think they will be looking for a much faster trial and based on publicly available documents recordings et cetera so we still don't know exactly what the process will be the both parties still have to work out exactly how long it will take. >> host: some of the structures will be see for example as they get underway tomorrow swearing in the senators as the jurors for this trial, rand paul tweeted earlier this evening about possibly trying to raise a motion against even proceeding so will we like the sea that tomorrow or in the early phases of the trial in two weeks? >> yeah, i think we could see some of that tomorrow.
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you know, it is not entirely clear how it will proceed, whether there will be a resolution that schumer and mcconnell will have agreed to by then and sort of setting the parameters for the trial or whether there were only be an agreement on the opening proceedings. you know, normally under the existing senate rules they have to have the trial every day from here on out, six days a week starting at noon but they have to have an agreement to extend into february 8 which is what mcconnell and schumer agreed on that basic time and in the meantime they can do cabinet conversations may be some kind of virus relief entry package. >> already on the revolving inside their questions raised about why patrick leahy was chosen to preside and not chief justice john roberts. >> right. if trump was still the president
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john roberts under the constitutional is supposed to be in the chair for a trial of the president and that is what it says in the constitution for trump is no longer the president and he was the president and so, instead they will have patrick leahy the president pro tem of the senate preside over the trial. he has the seniormost emma kratt, ironically he was elected in 1974 in the wake of watergate, former prosecutor and i think some republicans said they are fine with leahy and think he will be fair and there was some question whether kamala harris would preside but that will not happen and i am sure she is happy not being tied down hour after hour in this trial. >> what is your sense of where the former majority now minority leader mitch mcconnell is on conviction? >> i think he is in a tight spot. he clearly was horrified by what
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happened and he was angry that trump was trying to overturn the election results and had a fiery speech before the riots and had a fiery speech after and on january 19 the day before the inauguration he said that mob had been fed lies and provoked by the president. and so, it's pretty clear that mcconnell puts a lot of blame for what happened on the president and so he may want to vote to convict and yet on the other hand he is the leader of his party, clearly a lot of republicans don't want to go against trump and there would be a clear backlash among republican voters and potentially cause trouble within his own conference, especially if you will not get to those 17 senate republicans that would be
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needed to actually convicted trump and have a break of a real break from a trump bar him from running again. but, you know, on the other hand he's in a tight spot here and you do see a lot of other senate republicans, including john cornyn who has hopes of succeeding mcconnell at some point in his the top republican leader saying they would set a bad precedent and have other saying it would be unconstitutional and there's never been a trial of an ex-president before and sort of open open up a pandora's box and right now there's only really a handful of republican senators who have been really, really sharp with protocol, the president said that what happened was impeachable and we really don't have anybody saying that they will definitely vote to convict. >> clearly -- >> i think it is a tough question here for mcconnell how he will vote. >> clearly, the specter of
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generally six, the attack is going to hang over this, even from the start or capital producer kaplan pointed out that jennifer hemingway now the acting senate sergeant at arm's was a woman who led them into the chamber and the house and called the senate to order to hear the impeachment article and is acting sergeant-at-arms because the sergeant at on of the senate and house and the capitol police chief all resigned in the wake of that attack on the capital and generally six. as we get underway what else are you looking for, not only from inside the senate but from public reaction? >> yeah, i think one thing that is really different is the previous impeachment was about ukraine, a country probably most americans cannot find on the map and this is something that happened right here in the heart of democracy capitol police officer is dead and another one committed suicide and this
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happened to these lawmakers. they were the target of the mob and they were chased out of that room where they will be hearing this trial and so i think if there will be sort of interesting soul-searching from some of these senators i think one of the things probably have not gotten enough attention is not so much the speech that trump gave or what the two months he spent trying to pressure governors and others to overturn the election results but it is the hours that they spent in that room with people like susan collins, republican senator of maine, said they were on the phone trying to get white house officials to get trump to tell the mob to leave and he didn't do that. it took him hours to get to that point where he said to go home and that is something that i think is going to be really problematic for trump's defense
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and it is probably why you are seeing a lot of republicans not really defending trump's behavior. they are instead saying hey, they are making process arguments about whether it's a good idea or whether it would divide the country and whether it is constitutional and very few people are saying hey, you know what, trump won that election and he was within his rights to send a crowd to the capital to pressure us to overturn it. >> steven denis, we appreciate your reporting and look forward to more. he's on twitter at steven p dennis. thank you for being with us. >> anytime. >> the senate returns for legislative work tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. the senate impeachment trial will get underway at 2:30 p.m. or actually 2:15 p.m., live senate quorum will be underway calling senators to the floor for their attendance and to be sworn in as
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the jurors and the senate impeachment trial of the former president donald trump. all of that live here on c-span2 and you can listen live on the free c-span radio app and you can catch it all live or find it on demand at c-span .org / impeachment. a reminder that we will take you next to the what happened about one hour and 40 minutes ago, we take you first to the walkover from the house of the impeachment managers and then show you the reading of the article of impeachment on the senate floor. [background noises]

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