WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 14th January, 2021) The US Senate is unlikely to convict President Donald Trump despite Republican hopes to put him in the past, although violence by Make America Great Again followers during President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration could change the situation, analysts told Sputnik.
Earlier on Wednesday, the US House voted 232-197 to impeach Trump on charges of inciting violence against the US government. On January 6, thousands of pro-Trump protesters stormed Capitol Hill as Congress was certifying Biden's presidential election victory. The riots came after Trump called on his supporters to not allow the election to be stolen.
The Senate impeachment trial will not conclude until after Biden takes over on January 20. It will take 67 votes (two-thirds of the total) to convict Trump, which would require about 17 Republican senators to cross party lines.
"I don't think it's likely, barring some unforeseen future event, that enough senators will vote to impeach Trump," former congressional candidate and FBI Special Counsel Coleen Rowley told Sputnik. "Not only would they be afraid of the power of that political block but also, and very understandably, they should be worried about further inciting dangerous polarization."
Ten Republican members of Congress voted to impeach Trump on Wednesday while reports surfaced that Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell favored impeachment. Meanwhile, Democrat and presumptive Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said if Trump is convicted, the Senate will hold a vote to bar him from ever running for office again.
"Should there be escalating violence through the looming inauguration of Joe Biden as 46th president of the United States, it is possible that enough senators might join Democrats and Independents to reach the 67 vote target," Ortel said.
However, if the Democrats and their mainstream Republican allies pressed ahead with impeachment even after Biden took office, this would certainly backfire and only serve to strengthen US nationalism, Ortel warned.
"In the heat of the present, Democrats and establishment Republicans may believe they are close to dancing on political graves of Trumpists. In reality, they are likely ensuring stronger support for respectful nationalism, and rejection of unregulated globalism," he predicted.
On Tuesday, Trump told reporters that the speech he delivered on January 6 before the protesters stormed Capitol Hill was "totally appropriate." He said the impeachment process was the "continuation of the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics."