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Politics live updates: Impeachment article heads to the Senate, Rob Portman won’t run again, Sarah Huckabee Sanders seeks Ark. governor seat

  • January 25, 2021

impeachment against former President Donald Trump across the Capitol to the Senate, setting in motion the first steps for an unprecedented trial of a president who has already left office.

The article, which charges Trump with “incitement of insurrection,” focuses on his role in the Jan. 6 riot in which the president’s supporters ransacked the Capitol to try to overturn President Joe Biden’s election victory.

The articles are scheduled to arrive at the Senate around 7 p.m. On Tuesday, senators will be sworn in as members of the “Court of Impeachment.”

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., previewed how the House prosecutors, known as “managers,” will deliver the article of impeachment against former President Donald Trump on Monday about 7 p.m.

The second Trump impeachment trial is set for February. What happens next?

Ten Republican lawmakers joined Democrats in backing the article of impeachment. It is unclear how many GOP senators will similarly split with Trump, and the conservative base, on a vote to convict the president.

“Well, first of all, I think the trial is stupid,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said on “Fox News Sunday” over the weekend. Rubio argued a conviction would be “arrogant” given Trump’s persistent popularity with Republicans, though he said Trump “bears responsibility” for the Capitol insurrection.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., takes the stairs to speak to reporters about progress in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020.

Other Republican senators have taken a different view.

“I believe that what is being alleged and what we saw, which is incitement to insurrection, is an impeachable offense,” Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said on “CNN Politics” Sunday. “If not? what is?” he asked.

The Senate trial will begin on Tuesday, Feb. 9 with pretrial briefings beginning the day before on Feb. 8.

– Matthew Brown and Bart Jansen

Ohio GOP Sen. Rob Portman won’t seek re-election

Republican Rob Portman will not seek a third term in the U.S. Senate in 2022, he told The (Cincinnati) Enquirer.

Portman, 65, former U.S. Trade Representative under George W. Bush, plans to publicly announce his decision during a press conference Monday morning at the Hilton Netherland Plaza in downtown Cincinnati. He plans to finish out the remainder of his term through the end of next year, according to his office.

“This was not an easy decision because representing the people of Ohio has been the greatest honor of my career,” Portman said in a statement.

Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman

After three decades in Washington, Portman has grown tired of the incivility in politics and the increasing partisan divide. One of Greater Cincinnati’s most prominent politicians, he was once expected to be headed to national office. He’s known for sticking to policy and refraining from personal attacks. 

“I don’t think any Senate office has been more successful in getting things done, but honestly, it has gotten harder and harder to break through the partisan gridlock and make progress on substantive policy, and that has contributed to my decision,” he said.

Portman also was one of the few Republicans who publicly broke with Donald Trump over the then-president’s claims of broad voter fraud in the Nov. 3 election.

“… There is no evidence as of now of any widespread fraud or irregularities that would change the result in any state,” he wrote in an opinion column for USA TODAY that ran Nov. 27.

More:No proof of mass fraud that would change election result: Republican Sen. Rob Portman

Portman was first elected to the Senate in 2010, following the retirement of Republican George Voinovich. Portman had previously served parts of seven terms in the U.S. House from 1993 to 2005, representing Ohio’s 2nd Congressional District.

He first came to Washington in 1989 as a legislative aide to President George H.W. Bush. Portman considered Bush a mentor, and they maintained a close relationship until the former president died in 2018.

Portman’s seat is expected to remain a safe bet for Republicans. Potential GOP candidates for Portman’s seat include: Rep. Jim Jordan, Ohio Republican Party Chairwoman Jane Timken, former state treasurer Josh Mandel and “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance.

– Jason Williams, Cincinnati Enquirer

Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for Arkansas governor

A prominent figure in Donald Trump’s presidency – former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders – said Monday she is entering the campaign world by running for governor of Arkansas.

Making her announcement in a video nearly eight minutes long, Sanders stressed her ties to the embattled Trump and suggested she would run in part against the presidency of Joe Biden and the Democratic-controlled Congress.

Sanders attacked the Democrats  as “socialists” and suggested she would run against them in her bid to be chief executive of Arkansas. “Their socialism and cancel culture will not heal America,” she said as she declared her candidacy.

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, D.C.

Sanders’ campaign will test the potency of the Trump brand in 2022 elections.

The former press secretary declared her bid less than two weeks after the U.S. House voted to impeach Trump on charges of inciting an insurrection by his supporters at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Trump is scheduled to stand trial in the Senate next month.

Sanders, the daughter of former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, will have to win a Republican primary in Arkansas, and that may not be easy.

More:Sarah Sanders to join Fox News as a contributor

Two other statewide officials – Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge – are also planning gubernatorial bids.

Current Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, is term-limited.

– David Jackson

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