As the House of Representatives formally sent an article of impeachment against Donald Trump to the Senate on Monday for the former president's upcoming trial for inciting this month's deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol, a leading progressive advocacy group implored Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to preclude lawmakers who supported the January 6 insurrection from the proceedings.
"Senators cannot be impartial jurors in a trial for acts in which they themselves are implicated."
—Rahna Epting, MoveOn
On Monday evening, House impeachment managers delivered a single article of impeachment against Trump—who is the only president to have been impeached twice—to the upper chamber of Congress. In that legislative body are 11 Republicans who supported efforts by Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to thwart the peaceful transition of power to President Joe Biden by challenging certification of the Electoral College vote for the 2020 presidential election.
The offending senators' at least tacit embrace of Trump's myriad lies and conspiracy theories regarding the election has been blamed for helping to incite the mob that attacked the Capitol in a failed bid to overturn the election results. In the wake of the attack, House Democrats including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) have called on Hawley and Cruz to resign or be expelled from the Senate, while a group of Democratic senators has filed an ethics complaint against them.
"Invade the Capitol!" <-- listen to the mob respond to Trump inciting their deadly attack on Congress and our country.— MoveOn (@MoveOn) January 25, 2021
The House impeached Trump. The Senate must do its constitutional duty: #ConvictAndDisqualify Trump. https://t.co/ZwAyqNuK4w
Rahna Epting, executive director of MoveOn, says the 13 "seditious" GOP senators should be barred by Schumer (D-N.Y.) and McConnell (R-Ky.) from participation in Trump's impeachment trial.
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"Trump has been impeached for inciting a mob to attack our country and its lawmakers with deadly violence in an effort to override his election loss," Epting said in a statement on Monday.
"But Trump did not act alone," she added. "Senators who participated in Trump's campaign to undermine our free and fair election and fan the flames of insurrection share responsibility for gathering and inciting the crowd that assaulted the Capitol and killed a police officer on January 6."
"Senators who supported Trump's insurrection cannot also be his judges," stressed Epting. "Senators cannot be impartial jurors in a trial for acts in which they themselves are implicated. These senators should be witnesses, not jurors. Senators Schumer and McConnell must remove seditious senators from Trump's impeachment trial via the trial rules once Speaker Pelosi sends the article of impeachment to the Senate."
Trump's Senate trial is scheduled to begin on February 8. Sen. Pat Leahy (D-Vt.), the chamber's president pro tempore, will preside over the proceeding.