When the second Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump begins on Tuesday, House impeachment managers will present a great deal of evidence to suggest that Trump did indeed incite a crowd of his supporters to storm the U.S. Capitol on January 6, including showing video of the speech he gave shortly before the takeover of the Capitol began on that fateful day.
But according to some legal experts, there may also be witness testimony at the impeachment trial, and one of those witnesses could well be former Vice President Mike Pence.
Three of those legal eagles appeared on MSNBC Sunday afternoon, with former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance noting that the upcoming impeachment is unprecedented because it’s the first time a U.S. president has ever been accused of leading an insurrection against the U.S. government:
“If this is not impeachable, it is difficult to imagine anything would be. And permitting Trump to do this in the name of preserving unity or whatever other arguments the Republicans intend to put forward. Whether its the crazy jurisdictional argument that you can’t hold a trial once the president has left office — that would really weaken the presidency and also weaken the balance of power among the branches of government going forward in a way that would fundamentally alter our democracy.”
Host Yasmin Vossoughian asked the panel:
“Is there a conversation that needs to be had about the act of impeachment if, in fact, Donald Trump is acquitted in the Senate?”
Former Watergate prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks replied:
“First of all, he didn’t have to say ‘go and march to the Capitol and stop the vote. He was definitely trying to interfere with the conclusion of our election and the transfer of power. So, that was his goal. But he was derelict in his duties of not stopping what was going on. He should have been more forceful and taken control of it. If this isn’t — as Joyce said, if this isn’t impeachable, I can’t imagine what conduct would be.”
That led Boston Globe columnist Kimberly Atkins to add that this impeachment is different than the first one because people saw it play out in real time:
“They could see what the president said and could see what transpired afterward. And for weeks afterward, people inviting Americans to Washington telling them to come. It was going to be wild. This is going to be more straightforward and the impeachment managers themselves are witnesses. as they lay out their cases they will essentially be giving testimony of what happened. All 100 of the senators who are there are also witnesses who will be sitting as jurors. People who had to shelter in place, people who feared for their lives at times, and knowing that the vice president, as well, was in danger of all of this.”
So, if indeed the Senate votes to include witnesses, one of those could well be former Vice President Mike Pence, which would certainly make for some riveting testimony.
Here’s the video from MSNBC:
Featured Image Via NBC News