In a flurry of tweets, President Donald Trump spent the last several days attacking the newly launched impeachment inquiry against him. On Sunday, he quoted a guest on Fox News who predicted a Civil War-like fracture if Trump is removed from office. Monday, he called the whistleblower a fake who has false information when it comes to the president’s dealing with the leader of Ukraine. Trump also raised the prospect of arresting Democratic U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, chair of the House Intelligence Committee, for treason.
“Impeachment is not the answer to every issue facing us in Washington, but this last week or two, with this disclosure, has reached a new low in the presidency,” said Sen. Dick Durbin, the senior senator from Illinois and minority whip in the U.S. Senate. “I think we have been numbed by the outrageous conduct of this presidency. When you look at this president and what he has said and done consistently, you stop and think to yourself, ‘Is this still America?’ For a president to suggest, if I’m impeached, there’ll be a civil war?”
In response to Trump’s “Civil War” tweet, Durbin’s colleague from Illinois, Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger, described the president’s comment as “beyond repugnant.” Durbin thanked him, as well as some of his Republican colleagues in the Senate, while acknowledging that if the House impeaches it’s unlikely the Republican-controlled Senate will vote to remove Trump.
“I stopped and thanked Mitt Romney, who has been outspoken and, I think, very candid in his appraisal of what this president has done, not just in this instance but even before. Ben Sasse of Nebraska said something that at least leads us to believe that he has not prejudged the situation,” Durbin said. “When it goes beyond that, there may be two other senators who are consistently what I consider to be outspoken and candid when it comes to this president. The rest are afraid.”
Durbin also expressed his concern that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell might refuse to even consider removing Trump.
“Today, Senate Leader McConnell has said that he will move forward with an impeachment trial,” Durbin said. “I don't know whether that means a motion to dismiss or what it means, but we’re going to hold him to that.”