According to a report from Politico, close allies of Donald Trump are now worried that his second impeachment trial could have a long-range impact on his ability to resurrect his political career because the Democrats will likely focus on the horror of the Jan. 6th storming of the Capitol that the former president is accused of inciting.
While it is likely that few, if any, Republican Senators will vote along with Democrats on the articles of impeachment, associates of the president are saying the ex-president will sustain renewed damage by the nationally televised reliving of that day’s events.
Worse still, the report states, the ex-president is already damaged goods in the eyes of some Republicans.
“The former president, whom House Democrats have accused of inciting the rioters at a rally earlier the same day, is already hemorrhaging support within the GOP. Recent public polls have shown a sharp decline in support among Republican voters for a potential Trump comeback bid in 2024,” Politico reports. “And a widely televised trial that reminds voters and lawmakers of the disturbing moments when MAGA devotees assaulted law enforcement officials and broke into the Capitol building could harm his future political aspirations even more.”
Even former White House advisor Steve Bannon, an ardent backer of the president running again, is worried about the fall-out.
“The Democrats have a very emotional and compelling case,” explained Bannon. “They’re going to try to convict him in the eyes of the American people and smear him forever.”
According to the report, Trump’s attorneys are also worried about the path the trial may take and hope they can limit the scope to the constitutionality of the trial.
“Trump’s legal team appears to have similar trepidations that next week’s proceedings will turn into a high-profile retelling of the riots and his role in them,” the report states before adding, “The concern among Trump’s allies that the trial will be a relitigation of the events at the Capitol underscores the degree to which next week is being viewed as a public relations matter for the optics-obsessed former president. Still, there is little Trump’s team can do to stop the trial from veering towards a discussion of Jan. 6, since the impeachment managers are likely to focus intensely on the riots — and could, indeed, call witnesses to testify about what happened.”
The report adds, “People familiar with Trump’s strategy say his defense attorneys David Schoen and Bruce Castor hope to keep the trial ‘short and sweet’ — not wanting to entangle themselves in a lengthy debate over whether their client’s comments at the ‘Stop the Steal’ rally outside the White House qualify as inciting speech, or legitimize the prosecution’s arguments by focusing on Jan. 6.”
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