Donald Trump’s history-making second impeachment as president of the United States is all but a given on Wednesday as the House has secured more than enough bipartisan votes to move forward with a single charge of incitement of insurrection.
It could be a different story in the Senate, though.
At least, that appears to be what South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott — the only Black Republican Senator — wanted America to believe when he proudly announced he wouldn’t be voting to convict Trump when the impeachment moves to the Senate.
Scott’s move signaled his latest defense of Trump’s increasingly indefensible actions, including and especially the way he helped incite his supporters’ treasonous attack on the Capitol last week. He, for some reason, wants America to take Trump at his word and believe the president’s vow for a peaceful transition despite the opposite having already begun.
“President Trump has eight days left in his term and has promised a smooth and peaceful transition of power. The Democrat-led impeachment talks happening in the House right now fly in direct opposition to what President-elect Joe Biden has been calling for all year,” Scott tweeted Tuesday night.
“An impeachment vote will only lead to more hate and a deeply fractured nation. I oppose impeaching President Trump,” Scott added in a subsequent tweet.
Scott logic, of course, is flawed at best considering Trump’s penchant for hasty, misguided actions — like when he egged on his supporters “to fight much hareder” during a speech before the throngs of domestic terrorists stormed the Capitol.
It also can’t be forgotten just how many times Scott has gone to bat for Trump. Scott in 2019 famously compared impeaching Trump to “a political death row trial,” using hyperbolic rhetoric to distract from how wrong he was. Not to be outdone, Scott also has a history of apologizing for white supremacy among his fellow Republicans, including his reluctance to call former Rep. Steve King a racist despite King’s history of making racist comments and defending white nationalism.
The stakes of Trump’s second impeachment are rising after Vice President Mike Pence said Tueday that he was against invoking the 25th Amendment, a process that requires his participation to remove the president from office. That leaves the Senate impeachment trial as the only other viable option to remove Trump from office before his term expires in less than a week. Trump resigning from office is not likely.
On the flip side, Mitch McConnell signaled on Tuesday that he was in favor of impeaching Trump in a possible political play as the Senate Majority Leader prepares to concede his considerable power to Democrats, who have secured control of the Senate after last week’s historic runoff elections in Georgia.
McConnell joined a growing number of Republicans who have been warming up to the idea of impeaching Trump. That number clearly does not include Scott.