Pelosi rejects Trump impeachment acquittal, says Senate will reveal 'cowards or courage'
Briefs filed by House Democrats offer preview of Trump impeachment trial
Chad Pergram reports from Capitol Hill.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., rejected any notion that former President Trump is headed for a second acquittal in the Senate during his impeachment trial.
Pelosi on Thursday expressed confidence her House impeachment managers will make a convincing argument to the Senate when the trial kicks off next week for incitement of insurrection.
"They will make the case," Pelosi said Thursday during a Capitol news conference. "But I have great confidence in them and we'll see if it's going to be a Senate of courage or cowards."
DEMOCRATIC IMPEACHMENT MANAGERS ASK TRUMP TO TESTIFY UNDER OATH
Trump's legal team said putting him on trial for inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol riot would be unconstitutional since he no longer holds public office and therefore the Senate lacks jurisdiction. But Democrats are pressing forward with the impeachment trial because they say Trump must be held accountable and deserves the penalty of being barred from holding public office ever again if convicted.
Asked why Democrats are bothering with a trial if Trump is already out of power, Pelosi shot back saying it's about defending the Constitution.
TRUMP LEGAL TEAM ARGUES IMPEACHMENT ARTICLE IS IN ‘VIOLATION' OF CONSTITUTION, CALLS ON SENATE TO ACQUIT
"Why bother? Ask our founders. Why bother? Ask those who wrote the Constitution. Ask Abraham Lincoln. Ask anyone who cares about our democracy," Pelosi said.
House impeachment managers on Thursday requested that Trump show up for his trial and testify under oath about his actions surrounding the Jan. 6 riot that left five people dead including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, whom Pelosi praised as a "martyr for democracy."
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In order for Trump to be convicted, it would take a vote of two-thirds of the Senate. That means all Democrats would need to convince 17 Republicans to join them. The longshot chances for a conviction were made apparent last month when all but five Republicans in the Senate already voted to dismiss Trump’s trial and declare the impeachment proceedings unconstitutional.