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Senate Republicans side with Trump even after watching harrowing mob attack footage

Senate Republicans side with Trump even after watching harrowing mob attack footage

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During Donald Trump’s Senate impeachment trial today Democrats screened new footage of the Capitol insurrection.  Described by numerous outlets and commentators as “chilling,” the videos were taken from security surveillance and show the MAGA mob engaged in violent chants and brutally assaulting Capitol police officers. The videos also revealed that the heroic actions of the Capitol police are what prevented the deadly siege from ending even more tragically. We learned that Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) may have come face-to-face with a group of insurrectionists—to who knows what end—were it not for an officer warning him of their approach.

After watching the deeply disturbing footage, it’s hard to understand how anyone could be against holding Trump accountable for the terror he unleashed. The former president convinced his supporters that the election was being stolen from him by a Democratic coup, whipped them into a frenzy, and then sicced them on the Capitol. Every death and injury that ensued is on his hands and the Republicans who refuse to vote for conviction during this trial will be remembered as partisan cowards of the lowliest sort. Unfortunately, it looks like many of them simply don’t care.

CNN’s Manu Raju reports that while several GOP senators appear to have been shaken by the new footage, they seem unlikely to come out against Trump. Senator Mike Braun (IN) said that he is just as shaken as he was before he saw the video, apparently indicating that he will still vote to acquit because he believes “the process is flawed in the first place.”

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Senator Ron Johnson (WI) said that anyone would be shaken by the footage but that he blames the rioters themselves for the violence, not Trump. The argument is a popular one among spineless GOP politicians right now even though it’s one that falls apart the moment you consider what would happen if Trump hadn’t contested the election and hadn’t urged his supporters to march on the Capitol. The answer, of course, is that nothing would have happened, there would have been no insurrection, and our tradition of a peaceful transfer of power would have been upheld.

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“I’ve got nothing for you now,” Senator John Cornyn (TX) a cowardly and reliably pro-Trump politician told Raju, somehow managing to come up with an even worse answer than Johnson.

Senator Lisa Murkowski (AK), who Raju noted will likely vote to convict, admitted that the evidence so far has been “pretty damning.” The fact that she was the only one he spoke to who was willing to admit Trump’s likely guilt is a powerful indictment of the GOP. This party is beyond redemption at this point and its members must be voted out of office so that individuals who will actually stand up for our democracy can take over.

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