Transcript for 'Right now, Donald Trump is not going to get convicted in the Senate': Jon Karl
The end came slowly, then suddenly. After a transition that redefined tuttles you inauguration ended with these final words from former president trump, have a good life. Followed by Joe Biden, democracy has prevailed. The shift in style and substance was stark. Now comes the challenge of confronting the cascading crises outlined by president Biden in his inaugural address. Our new poll shows a solid majority of Americans approve of Biden's pandemic plans. And believe he can make progress on unifying the country. But the divisions in congress already demonstrating how tough it will be for president Biden to advance his agenda. Congressional correspondent Rachel Scott starts us off. Good morning, Rachel. Good morning. It's the impeachment trial of the former president Donald Trump that will be casting a shadow over president Biden's administration. Tomorrow, we will see that article of impeachment be walked over to the senate and then, on Tuesday, senators will be sworn in as jurors, but that impeachment trial will not be starting for two more weeks, we're looking at the week of February 8th, and this is a delay that both sides agreed to. Democrats were worried about this balancing act of having the senate balance that impeachment trial and consider Biden's agenda. Republicans wanted to give trump more time to prepare. He's struggled to put together a defense team. This gives both sides the wriggle room they're looking for. But this morning, it's still unclear how long the trial will last. Who will preside over it and whether or not witnesses will be allowed. Of course, this is an unusual situation, where the lawmakers, the jurors in this trial were all witnesses to what happened here on January 6th. At least 17 Republicans in the senate would need to join every single Democrat in order to convict the president. In the house, we saw ten Republicans vote to impeach the president. Now nearly every single one of those Republicans is facing significant backlash. Congresswoman Liz Cheney, the number three house Republican who voted to impeach, some of the harshest words for trump, she's now fending off attacks from her own party. She already has a primary challenger now. Some Republicans calling for her to be removed from leadership. That vote to impeach, George, has turned into a fight for her political life. Boy, it sure has. Rachel, thank you very much. Let's bring in Jon Karl for more on this. We're seeing the backlash that Liz Cheney is facing in the house, that could -- The bottom line is, George, right now Donald Trump is not going to get convicted in the senate, unless there are major new revelations. Mitch Mcconnell hasn't ruled out voting for a conviction, but nobody who I have talked to close to Mcconnell, any chance he would vote to convict. That said, George, during this trial, unlike the last impeachment trial, you're not going to see significant numbers of Republicans coming out to actually defend Donald Trump. They will focus on the process and the constitutionality, they will argue that it's neither wise nor is it constitutional to convict someone in a impeachment trial, somebody who has already left office. Impeachment is meant to remove a president from office, pure and simple, is what Republicans will argue. Donald Trump of course is already gone. President Biden has tried to stay out of this impeachment fight. He wants to advance his agenda at the same time. Which means both sides don't mind this couple of week delay. Look, George, if took a look at the priorities that Biden has from the beginning of his administration, impeachment would rank somewhere below 100. The Biden white house simply doesn't care about this. Their biggest concern is that impeachment could block Biden's agenda in congress, so, no, absolutely no complaints about the delay from either side, especially no complaints from Biden. It appears that the Republican party is coalescing around the size of the plan. They've made it clear, really every Republican including Susan Collins, Mitt Romney, expect to work with the president on this, have made it clear that's too that said, you know, I think there's an emerging possibility of a compromise. But of course, George, the big question is, whether or not the two sides can come to an agreement about how to actually organize the senate, there's a big dispute over whether or not to rule out the filibuster. That's what Mcconnell is insisting on. Until that's resolved they won't be able to do any of that. Okay, Jon Karl, thanks very
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