The Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump is set to begin the week of Feb. 8. And if you ask, most Americans will tell you the process will reinforce divisions in the nation.
So say more than half of likely voters in new polling results.
The Rasmussen Reports survey found that voters, by a 3-to-1 margin, expect the upcoming trial to leave the country more divided than unified, per an account of the research in the New York Post.
A mere 20 percent said the trial would have no effect on the country’s political division. Even fewer folks — 19 percent — said it would help unify Americans.
As for whether Trump should be convicted of “high crimes and misdemeanors” on a charge of incitement an insurrection, 50 percent answered, “Yes,” and 45 percent said, “No.”
The House of Representatives voted 232-197 to impeach Trump on Jan. 13 for inciting the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, as a joint session of Congress was meeting to certify Electoral College results cementing Joe Biden’s win in the Nov. 3 presidential election. Trump has long maintained that Biden won due to widespread and systemic fraud, and he urged a crowd at a rally preceding the Capitol siege to take bold action.
The Senate, though divided largely along party lines, will start the trial next month. It’s not clear how long the trial will last or exactly what shape it will take — for instance, will witnesses be called?
A two-thirds Senate majority is needed to find Trump guilty, meaning all Democrats and 17 Republicans would have to vote to convict. That appeared unlikely after 45 GOPers supported a measure by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., challenging the constitutionality of the trial on the grounds that Trump no longer holds office.
No impeachment has ever unfolded involving a president who’s completed his term of office.
Earlier this month, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., called the impeachment process “so ill-advised.” He said the legal system ruling on alleged crimes surrounding the Capitol riot would have an effect on the former president.
“Let that take its place,” Manchin said. “Let the investigations go on and evidence come forth and then we will go forth from there. There is no rush to do this impeachment now, we can do it later if they think it’s necessary.”
The Rasmussen survey of 1,000 likely U.S. voters, reached by telephone or online, was conducted on Jan. 25-26.
Author: Charlie McCarthy