Law & the Courts

Hillary Clinton Claims If Trump Is Acquitted It’s ‘Because The Jury Includes His Co-Conspirators’

Hillary Clinton arrives at President Biden’s inauguration in Washington, D.C., January 20, 2021. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Hillary Clinton on Wednesday claimed that if former President Donald Trump’s second Senate impeachment trial ends in his acquittal it will be because “the jury includes his co-conspirators.”

“If Senate Republicans fail to convict Donald Trump, it won’t be because the facts were with him or his lawyers mounted a competent defense,” Clinton said in a tweet Wednesday morning. “It will be because the jury includes his co-conspirators.”

Clinton, who served as secretary of state during the Obama administration, waded into the conversation before the second day of the trial began. House Democrats, joined by ten Republicans, voted last month to pass a single article of impeachment — “incitement of an insurrection” — against Trump after a mob of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

On the first day of the trial, the Democratic impeachment managers presented never-before-seen footage of the day’s unrest, showing how close rioters came to lawmakers as Congress met to certify President Joe Biden’s election win last month.

Democrats will attempt to pin the pro-Trump rioters’ actions on the 45th president, arguing that his rhetoric in the hours before — and in the months leading up to — the electoral-vote count on January 6 stirred up supporters and led them to storm the Capitol. The unrest left five people dead, including one Capitol Hill police officer.

Trump’s lawyers are arguing that it is unconstitutional for the Senate to hold an impeachment trial for a former president and that his rhetoric is protected by the First Amendment. They also say that he did not incite the rioting and that the House rushed to impeach Trump without offering him time to prepare a defense.

The Senate is likely to fall short of the two-thirds vote needed to convict Trump: Only six Republicans — Senators Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania — joined their Democratic colleagues in voting to affirm the constitutionality of the trial.

Senator Rand Paul (R., Ky.) said Wednesday that he expects at least 44 Republican senators to acquit Trump, according to Politico.

“Everybody objects to that violence. Everybody is horrified by that violence,” he said. “But the question is: Did the president incite that?”

In the unlikely event that Trump is convicted, the Senate could then move to bar the former president from holding office going forward with a simple majority vote.

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