(The Center Square) – President Donald Trump on Tuesday told reporters outside the White House that the second impeachment attempt proposed by House Democrats was “really a continuation of the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics."
Democrats this week introduced a single article of impeachment against Trump, accusing the president of encouraging his supporters prior to their breaching of the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday, when Congress was set to meet to certify the Electoral College votes confirming President-elect Joe Biden's win.
Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz said Democrats have no chance of successfully impeaching and removing the president before Jan. 20, Inauguration Day.
“The case cannot come to trial in the Senate. Because the Senate has rules, and the rules would not allow the case to come to trial until, according to the majority leader, until 1 p.m. on Jan. 20, an hour after President Trump leaves office,” Dershowitz told Fox Business Sunday.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., sent a letter to Republican senators explaining the process. In it, he writes that the Senate could legally “dispose of any articles of impeachment” proposed by House Democrats.
“The Senate is currently in recess and is holding pro forma sessions every three days until January 19,” the letter states. “Pursuant to the unanimously approved order setting up the recess and these pro forma sessions, the Senate may conduct no business until January 19.”
McConnell noted, “without unanimous consent, the Senate may not conduct any business of any kind during pro forma sessions, including beginning to act on received articles of impeachment from the House.”
Even if the House did vote to impeach Trump for a second time through a simple majority vote, McConnell said that all 100 senators would have to agree to conduct “any business of any kind,” and that is not going to happen. Trump was first impeached by the Democratic-controlled House in late 2019 but he was later acquitted in the GOP-controlled Senate.
Senate Impeachment Rules would be followed after the Senate resumes regular session on Jan. 19, and a trial would not start until “after President Trump’s term has expired,” McConnell said.
Democrats charged Trump with “incitement of insurrection,” accusing him of inspiring protestors to storm the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, the same day Trump gave a speech emphasizing his supporters’ peaceful rallies nationwide.
In his speech, Trump accused media conglomerates and big tech of interfering in the election, and gave examples of alleged voter fraud in several states.
“All of us here today do not want to see our election victory stolen by emboldened radical left Democrats, which is what they’re doing and stolen by the fake news media,” Trump said. “That’s what they’ve done and what they’re doing. We will never give up. We will never concede.”
“We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated, lawfully slated,” Trump said. “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”
At the end of his speech, he urged people to “walk down Pennsylvania Avenue” and “try and give our Republicans, the weak ones, because the strong ones don’t need any of our help, we’re going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.”
Of the House efforts to impeach, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who previously voted to impeach the president, said the push to impeach the president now is “so ill-advised.”