Former President Trump has reportedly bragged to aides and advisers that not only does he expect to be acquitted during his second Senate impeachment trial, but that he views trial itself will be as an opportunity for “accountability” for the handful of House Republicans who dared to vote in favor of his impeachment for “incitement of insurrection” last month.
According to CNN on Monday, Trump has turned his post-presidency focus onto punishing the 10 House Republicans who joined Democrats in voting to impeach him for the second time last month after the former president incited the deadly insurrection at the Capitol that left five dead.
One Trump adviser told CNN that the former president offered a twisted view on his second impeachment trial, bragging that House Republicans who voted in favor of impeaching him will face “accountability” for supposedly turning “against the people.” CNN reported that the adviser acknowledged that Trump actively tried to delegitimize the election process after Joe Biden was declared the President-elect.
Former Trump aides remember Trump basking in the spectacle that unfolded during the Capitol riot, according to CNN. One former senior White House official told CNN that Trump was “loving watching the Capitol mob.”
Trump’s confidence heading into his second impeachment trial comes amid Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), the third-ranking House Republican, facing fierce backlash within the GOP for voting to impeach Trump. Although the Wyoming Republican Party overwhelming voted to censure Cheney, who easily won a House Republican Conference vote last week to remain in her leadership position, Cheney said that she has no plans to resign as she stood by her vote to impeach Trump.
On Sunday, several Republican senators framed Trump’s second impeachment trial as an unconstitutional partisan attack from Democrats two days before the trial is scheduled to begin as they parroted the former president’s dismissal of his own trial. The Republican senators painted the trial as a means for Democrats to violate the Constitution in order to keep Trump as a punching bag.
Despite the likely acquittal of Trump, House impeachment managers have made clear in pre-trial briefs that they plan to wage a forceful case against the former president,
“The evidence of President Trump’s conduct is overwhelming,” the impeachment managers wrote in a filing earlier Monday. “He has no valid excuse or defense for his actions. And his efforts to escape accountability are entirely unavailing.”