Mike Pence urges Senate Democrats to break impeachment lines


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"The question naturally arises: who among the Senate Democrats will face the passions of his party this time? Who will face the mafia's legislative dominance and the rule of law? Who will be the 2020 profile in Courage? "Pence wrote in the article published on Thursday.

A true profile of courage, he said, "would be a Senate Democrat willing to stand and reject a party impeachment approved by the Democratic-controlled House."

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Calling the similarities between the Trump and Johnson trials "striking," the editorial praises Kansas Republican Sen. Edmund G. Ross, who, after breaking with his party, is generally considered the decisive vote to acquit Johnson.

"Ross was determined to make a fair trial, resisting the stampede of his own party," Pence writes, adding that while "he faced social ostracism and physical aggression" by his vote, he "knew he was right."

"So, as now, a political faction forced partisan impeachment through the House in the heat of a discussion of a policy difference. So, as now, that faction cheapened the impeachment process, which the Founders believed should be reserved only for the most serious abuses of public trust ".

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Pence's article came a few hours later Trump's impeachment trial was officially convened with the reading of the impeachment articles and the inauguration of Supreme Court Judge John Roberts and almost all senators who will decide whether the president should be removed from office.

Democrats accuse Trump of withholding security help and a meeting of the White House of Ukraine as they press for an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

The outcome of the trial is largely determined, as the two-thirds vote required to remove the president would require 20 Republican senators to break ranks. But that does not mean the trial itself will have no twists – and potentially some surprises – as Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell navigates the demands of his Senate conference, the pressure of Democrats, and the whims of Trump and his account. on twitter. .

Pence repeatedly attacked the entire impeachment case against Trump. After the House approved both articles in December, Pence called it "disgrace" to a crowd of supporters in Michigan.

"It's great to be with so many friends today and to be out of Washington, DC," the vice president joked to the crowd. "Honestly, friends, what is happening on Capitol Hill is a disgrace. From the first day of this administration, Democrats in Washington have been trying to reverse the results of the last election, and today they are back with their partisan impeachment. Vote."

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CNN's Jeremy Herb and Nikki Carvajal contributed to this report.

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