Senate receives impeachment article as Republicans are split on convicting Trump

Some Republican senators have been speaking out against the historic second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump. “Nightline” speaks to Rep. Joe Neguse, one of the impeachment managers.
8:57 | 01/26/21

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Transcript for Senate receives impeachment article as Republicans are split on convicting Trump
A simple walk filled with historical significance. Today for the first time in the United States an articles of impeachment delivered against an American president for the second time. Donald John trump engaged in high crimes and misdemeanors by inciting violence against the government of the United States. Tonight is a reminder of how serious this is. First time ever that a president has been impeached twice. This historic hand over setting the stage for another trial in the U.S. Senate and no president has ever faced this after leaving office. This is a big moment filled with symbolism and history. The biggest challenge the Democrats have is convincing Republicans in the senate that you can actually have an impeachment trial for a president that's already gone. While we've impeached presidents before no president has been convicted in the senate. This new attempt to convict Donald Trump stems from the president's role inciting the insurrection January 6th. Fight like hell. This video coming from the new Yorker. The article also accuses him of trying to subvert and obstruct the results of the 2020 election by pressuring the Georgia secretary of state to find nearly 12,000 votes to help him win. How much evidence do Democrats have on Donald Trump. A whole book, Democrats have a whole book of evidence against Donald Trump. I think we're going to find there was a lot more connection between this president and what happened at the capitol couple weeks ago. This historic moment happening against the back drop of the ongoing pandemic as the man currently in the white houseworks steadily to undo the legacy trump left behind. President Joe Biden has signed more than 30 executive actions in his first five days in office. I don't think will you see Joe Biden or Biden white house say much at all about the impeachment trial. Joe Biden has a hugely ambitious agenda and last thing Biden or his top advisors want is to see the senate tied up in knots. A new poll found more than half Americans, 52% want to see the senate convict trump and 76% to bar Donald Trump from holding federal office again. 24 time ten house Republicans joined Democrats voting to oust trump. It may cost my job or may not but it is worth putting it on the line because quite honestly, more time in congress is not worth losing what I believe to be an honored losing vote. In private conversations Donald Trump is having I'm told he's been quite direct in making it clear that it's essentially a threat that any Republican in the senate who would dare vote to convict him in this impeachment trial he will go after and he will go after hard. Over in the senate some fellow Republicans like Mitt Romney agree it was the right decision. I believe what is being alleged and what we saw which is incitement to insurrection is an impeachment offense, if not, what is. At least 17 senate Republicans would have to vote to convict. A growing number vehemently opposing the trial like Rubio. I think the trial is stupid and counter productive like pouring gas on top of the fire. First chance I get to vote to end this trial I will do it. Former Republican speaker of the house newt Gingrich also criticized the trial on fox News. This whole thing is based on a dangerous dictatorship of the Washington elites. I don't think they have the right to tell the American 3e78 -- people that Donald Trump can't run again. If that's not the purpose there's no purpose. He's already out of the office they can't impeach him out because he's already gone. I think it is not valid. The reality is this happened while he was president, he used his presidential powers to make this happen and doesn't matter if he is not president any more. Romney also took aim at other members of congress who supported trump's lies about election fraud. Reality is this is something that was made up and has had enormous damage and those who participate in spreading that will recognize they now have a responsibility to set the record straight and to say in fact we never did see hard evidence of a widespread fraud of the nature that would reverse the election. That's essential today. Today marked an important procedure step. Tomorrow senators will be sworn in as jurors but both sides have agreed to delay the trial by two weeks. My sense is every day we get passed January 6th it's harder to convict Donald Trump, Jr. That said, to convict Donald Trump. That said, there are more revelation that's come out. A sense from some that maybe as the investigations move forward there will be more information that will be more damning but what is more damning than what we saw on January 6th? He's been impeached by the house but if he's not convicted by the senate, if he is not banned from running for office in the future, then the argument is that he's gotten away with it. There was no accountability. If trump is convicted and banned from running again, many still doubt it would be the end of his power. So do you think we're seeing the closing days of trump's Republican party or is a new book being written right now. You think about the movement that is built around Donald Trump, that won't go away just because he's removed. Also we know Donald Trump's personality is not one that goes away. I think he continues to lead even if not in the position of political power. Earlier this evening, I spoke with one of the nine lawmakers who delivered the impeachment documents and will prosecute the president. Colorado democratic congressman Joe do you think there's enough votes to convict? Great to be with you. First let me say today was a solemn day as zwe voted to impeach only for the fourth time in the history's of the country that that's happened. We believe there's a compelling case to be made to the united States senate this former president incited an insurrection that many of us were witness to on January 6th at our nation's capitol. We'll ultimately present that case and managers are prepared to present the fact and evidence and my hope is they will consider the evidence in an impartial way and if they do so I believe they will reach the same conclusion me and so many others, Republicans and Democrats have reached which is the president of committed high crime that warrants removal. Republicans say it will only divide the country further if we impeach, what's your response? I think healing is critically important but we also need accountability to ensure this never happens again in the future. That we make clear to future generations that this type of conduct can't be tolerated in a constitutional republic like ours, it cannot be, in our country, the greatest democracy the world's ever known that the president can incite an insurrection and avoid consequences simply by doing could at the end of their term. Final question with 30 seconds left, if someone was at the capitol in harm's way what do you want American people to know about that day? It was hey a harrowing day for congress and our country. First time the capitol, C ita itaded of liberty had been breached since 1812 but important to know we capability back and refused to be intimidated and we returned and spent all evening until 4:00 A.M. In the morning to finish the work we had started. That was important for America to see and for the world to see. Our republic endured and will continue to endure. Congressman Joe neguse thank you so much for your time. See you down the road. Thank you, sir.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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