Trump tells aides he thinks he'll be acquitted as he remains fixated on 'accountability' for GOP lawmakers who voted to impeach
Posted February 8, 2021 4:56 p.m. EST
CNN — Former President Donald Trump has been reaching out to aides and advisers to discuss his upcoming Senate impeachment trial, sources familiar with the conversations said, with one of those sources saying Trump thinks there won't be enough Republican senators who'll vote to convict him.
Trump's second impeachment trial is set to begin on Tuesday. The House voted to impeach him on January 13 on one charge of inciting an insurrection. The historic vote came one week before Trump left office, making him the only president in American history to be impeached twice.
Since leaving office, Trump has been fixated on punishing GOP lawmakers who voted to impeach him in the House, including Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming. Ten Republicans, including Cheney, voted to impeach Trump.
One Trump adviser said the ex-President is seeking what he sees as "accountability" for Republican House members who turned "against the people." The adviser acknowledged that was a twisted view of reality as Trump was the one who was actively attempting to overturn the will of the voters.
A major focus of the upcoming trial will be the speech Trump gave on the morning of January 6 on the Ellipse just south of the White House at a "Stop the Steal" rally meant to protest Joe Biden's win in the 2020 election. That rally was followed by thousands of Trump supporters storming the US Capitol in an insurrection that killed five people, including one Capitol Police officer.
Former Trump aides recall the then-President having enjoyed the spectacle created by the riot at the Capitol. Trump was "loving watching the Capitol mob," one former senior White House official said.
This is a breaking story and will be updated.