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Mitt Romney indicated that he believed the charge against former President Donald J. Trump was impeachable, while Marco Rubio called a trial “stupid.”
WASHINGTON — Lawmakers on Sunday burrowed into dueling positions over the impending impeachment trial of former President Donald J. Trump, deepening the schisms in an already divided Senate a day before the House will deliver its charge to lawmakers there.
Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, the only Republican who voted to convict Mr. Trump in his first impeachment trial, said on Sunday that he believed the former president had committed an impeachable offense, and that the effort to try him even after he left office was constitutional.
“I believe that what is being alleged and what we saw, which is incitement to insurrection, is an impeachable offense,” Mr. Romney said on “State of the Union” on CNN. “If not, what is?”
But even as Mr. Romney signaled his openness to convicting Mr. Trump, other Senate Republicans made clear that they opposed even the idea of a trial and would try to dismiss the charge before it began. Taken together, the comments underscored the rift that the riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6 and the ensuing fallout have created in the Republican conference, as senators weighed whether they would pay a steeper political price for breaking with the former president or for failing to.
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