CNN host Jake Tapper said on Tuesday that he believes the current state of the Senate, amid the ongoing impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, would be the same even if former Vice President Mike Pence was killed in the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol.
Tapper was hosting CNN’s special coverage of Trump’s second impeachment trial, alongside Dana Bash and Abby Phillip, when he made the comment. (RELATED: Congresswoman Says Capitol Riot Reminded Her Of Being Nearly Killed By Jonestown Cult)
Bash began the topic by giving her analysis on the House impeachment managers’ presentation to the Senate and how it was intended to remind the senators of their experiences during the attack. She pointed out that even though they are jurors, “they are also witnesses and they are also victims.” She then said, “Hard to imagine even the Republicans, who are looking for a political out with the constitutionality question, can — they have to think twice listening to that.”
“Maybe. I’m not sure they have to think twice about this, because honestly, I have to say, five people are dead directly from that day. There have been at least two or three suicides subsequent. Two of them police officers,” Tapper responded. “I mean even Kevin McCarthy, who was one of the most sycophantic of Republican officials, has said that Donald Trump bears some responsibility for that day. Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, much more aggressive in his criticism.”
Trump’s impeachment trial began Tuesday after he was impeached in January for allegedly inciting the mob of his supporters that stormed the Capitol. Trump called on the crowd to march to the Capitol and demand Pence and Congress overturn the results of the Electoral College vote. Some of the rioters were heard chanting “hang Mike Pence” while the attack was taking place, and he escaped the Senate floor with minutes to spare before rioters reached the chamber.
A majority of Senate Republicans have expressed they don’t believe the trial is constitutional since Trump is no longer in office. Many have expressed the desire to move on from the impeachment and have accused Democrats of not adhering to President Joe Biden’s call to unity.
“Even with that, with dead people, I have to wonder what if the crowd actually had gotten to Mike Pence? What if this had gotten even worse?” Tapper continued. “Abby, we were talking earlier, five people killed that day. Dozens more maimed for injuries, wounds they’re going to have forever, three fingers lost, an eye lost, brain damage. What if a member of Congress or Vice President Pence, God forbid, had been killed? I honestly don’t think that anything would be different on the floor of the Senate.”