cloudy.png
Saturday February 27th, 2021 2:35PM

Trump looks to reassert himself after impeachment acquittal

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump took in the win at Mar-a-Lago, surrounded by friends and family. His lawyers celebrated with hugs and smiles. One joked, "We’re going to Disney World!”

Now acquitted in his second Senate impeachment trial, Trump is preparing for the next phase of his post-presidency life. Feeling emboldened by the trial's outcome, he is expected to reemerge from a self-imposed hibernation at his club in Palm Beach, Florida, and is eyeing ways to reassert his power.

But after being barred from Twitter, the former president lacks the social media bullhorn that fueled his political rise. And he's confronting a Republican Party deeply divided over the legacy of his jarring final days in office, culminating in the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol. Searing video images of the day played on loop during his impeachment trial, which ended Saturday.

Trump remains popular among the GOP base, but many Republicans in Washington have cooled to him. Never before have so many members of a president's party — seven GOP senators, in his case — voted for his removal in a Senate trial.

Some may work to counter efforts by Trump to support extreme candidates in next year's congressional primaries.

Undeterred, friends and allies expect Trump to resume friendly media interviews after weeks of silence. He has met with political aides to discuss efforts to help Republicans try to take control of the House and Senate in the 2022 midterms elections. He remains fixated on exacting revenge on Republicans who supported his impeachment or resisted his efforts to overturn the results of the November election won by Democrat Joe Biden.

“I imagine you’ll probably be hearing a lot more from him in the coming days,” senior adviser Jason Miller said.

In a statement after the vote, Trump offered few clues, but was defiant as he told supporters their movement “has only just begun.”

“In the months ahead I have much to share with you, and I look forward to continuing our incredible journey together to achieve American greatness for all of our people,” he said.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, who spoke with Trump on Saturday night, acknowledged that Trump is “mad at some folks,” but also “ready to move on and rebuild the Republican Party” and “excited about 2022."

In their conversations, Graham has stressed to Trump, who has threatened to start his own party to punish disloyal Republicans, that the GOP needs him to win.

“I said, ‘Mr. President, this MAGA movement needs to continue. We need to unite the party. Trump-plus is the way back in 2022,’” Graham, R-S.C., told “Fox News Sunday.”

"My goal is to win in 2022 to stop the most radical agenda I’ve seen coming out of the Democratic presidency of Joe Biden. We can’t do that without Donald Trump, so he’s ready to hit the trail and I’m ready to work with him,” Graham said.

Graham said Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who voted to acquit but then delivered a scalding denunciation of Trump, “got a load off a chest, obviously.” Graham said later in the interview: “If you want to get something off your chest, fine, but I'm into winning."

At his Palm Beach club on Saturday night, Trump was in a joyous mood as he enjoyed dinner on a patio packed with people. After a mellow last several weeks, one member described a party atmosphere not felt since before the election.

Still, Trump isn't in the clear yet. No longer protected by a Justice Department opinion against the prosecution of sitting presidents, he now faces multiple ongoing criminal investigations.

In Georgia, the Fulton County district attorney has opened a criminal investigation into “attempts to influence” the election, including Trump's call to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger demanding that the official find enough votes to overturn Biden’s victory.

In New York, Attorney General Letitia James is investigating whether Trump and his company improperly inflated the value of his assets on annual financial statements in order to secure loans and obtain tax benefits. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. continues his own investigation, which has included grand jury testimony.

“He didn’t get away with anything — yet," McConnell, R-Ky., after the vote. “We have a criminal justice system in this country. We have civil litigation. And former presidents are not immune from being accountable by either one."

McConnell voted to acquit Trump on the grounds the trial was unconstitutional because he is no longer in office, but insisted, “There’s no question — none — that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day."

That sharp rebuke from his once-loyal defender underscores how dramatically Trump's stock has fallen in Washington since his first impeachment trial just over a year ago. But the desire to be rid of Trump is not shared across the country, where Republicans who have dared to admonish him have faced swift rebuke.

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., was forced to defend her third-in-line leadership position after she voted in favor of impeachment. On Saturday, Louisiana’s Republican Party quickly censured Sen. Bill Cassidy, one of the seven Republicans senators who voted for Trump's conviction.

In an interview Sunday with ABC’s “This Week,” Cassidy seemed at peace with his decision.

“I think his force wanes,” he said of Trump. “The Republican Party is more than just one person. The Republican Party is about ideas.”

But how long Trump retains his grip remains an open question, especially with a slew of likely 2024 candidates now trying to take the mantle.

Some, like Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, are advocating a clean break from Trump, who ended his presidency with a record low 34% approval rating according to Gallup polling. Others have stressed the need to keep his voters engaged, perhaps with candidates who trumpet the policies Trump championed, but with a less caustic style that might win back suburban voters.

In a sign of his enduring power, the Republican National Committee and other groups spent the trial sending fundraising appeals urging their followers to “Stand with Trump” and “SAVE President Trump’s Legacy,” in the words of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

“Oh, time is going to take care of that some way or another," said Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, told reporters Saturday. "But remember, in order to be a leader you got to have followers. So we’re gonna find out, whoever leads. But everybody’s going to be involved. We’re a big tent.”

While the Senate failed to bar Trump from running again for office, many believe he has done too much damage to be a credible candidate himself in 2024.

Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, who is retiring, said Trump's refusal to accept the results of the election had “very badly damaged his reputation," eclipsing his accomplishments in office.

“Instead,” Toomey said, "he’ll be remembered throughout history as the president who resorted to nonlegal steps to try to hold on to power.”

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Elections, General Election News, General Presidential Election News, AP Elections - Political Conventions
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Trump looks to reassert himself after impeachment acquittal
Now that he's been acquitted in his second Senate impeachment trial, Donald Trump is preparing for the next phase of his post-presidency life
2:33PM ( 8 minutes ago )
On Parkland anniversary, Biden calls for tougher gun laws
Sorrow is reverberating across the country Sunday as Americans joined a Florida community in remembering the 17 lives lost three years ago in the Parkland school shooting massacre
2:27PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Myanmar rattled by army movements, apparent internet cutoff
Sightings of armored personnel carriers in Myanmar’s biggest city and leaked orders of an impending internet shutdown have raised political tensions, after vast numbers of people around the country flouted orders against demonstrations to protest the military’s seizure of power
2:13PM ( 28 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: Czech govt extends emergency, defies Parliament
The Czech government has re-declared its state of emergency for next two weeks to be able to effectively tackle the coronavirus pandemic in one of the hardest hit European countries
11:52AM ( 2 hours ago )
Biden order reestablishes faith-focused White House office
President Joe Biden has signed an executive order relaunching a White House office aimed at fostering cooperation between the federal government and faith-based and secular community organizations
11:14AM ( 3 hours ago )
Kosovo voters choose new parliament amid pandemic
Kosovo’s voters defied freezing weather to vote in an early parliamentary election to form a new government amid the coronavirus pandemic, an economic downturn and stalled negotiations with wartime foe Serbia
11:12AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Biden White House seeks to turn page on Trump
The end of former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial opens a new chapter for his successor in the White House
12:43AM ( 13 hours ago )
2 impeachment trials, 2 escape hatches for Donald Trump
Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial centered on a phone call that Americans never heard with the leader of a country far away, Ukraine
12:36AM ( 14 hours ago )
7 Republicans vote to convict Trump in impeachment trial
Seven Republicans have voted to convict former President Donald Trump in his Senate trial
11:19PM ( 15 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
The Latest: McConnell votes to acquit, then condemns Trump
Minutes after voting to acquit Donald Trump of the impeachment charge, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says there is still “no question” that Trump is “practically and morally responsible for provoking” the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol
4:32PM ( 22 hours ago )
The Latest: Trump cheers his acquittal in impeachment trial
Former President Donald Trump is welcoming his second impeachment acquittal and says his movement “has only just begun.”
4:09PM ( 22 hours ago )
Senate votes to acquit Trump in historic impeachment trial
The Senate has acquitted Donald Trump of inciting the horrific attack on the U.S. Capitol, concluding a historic impeachment trial
4:04PM ( 22 hours ago )
AP Elections
The Latest: Trump trial comes to standstill over witnesses
Former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial came to an abrupt standstill after a majority of senators voted to consider calling witnesses about the deadly storming of the Capitol
11:24AM ( 1 day ago )
The Latest: Confusion brings impeachment trial to a halt
The proceedings in former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial have come to an abrupt halt, with senators seemingly confused about the next steps
10:59AM ( 1 day ago )
The Latest: Senators to consider witnesses in Trump trial
Senators have voted to consider witnesses in the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump
10:39AM ( 1 day ago )
General Election News
Close watch on tight-lipped GOP leader McConnell's stand
Seldom has Mitch McConnell signaled so little about such a consequential vote
8:04AM ( 1 day ago )
As impeachment vote draws near, McConnell revealing little
Seldom has Mitch McConnell signaled so little about such a consequential vote
12:50AM ( 1 day ago )
Trial highlights: Trump grievances, angry outbursts and more
Donald Trump’s attorneys have wrapped up their impeachment defense
6:23PM ( 1 day ago )
General Presidential Election News
Stormy Daniels and Michael Cohen, once foes, talk Trump
The porn actress Stormy Daniels says in a new interview that her battle is “just now starting,” alluding to a defamation lawsuit against former President Donald Trump that she took to the U.S. Supreme Court
1:07AM ( 6 days ago )
A test for Trumpism: Virginia Republicans seek new playbook
The national Republican Party is at war with itself, struggling to reconcile a bitter divide between former President Donald Trump’s fierce loyalists and those who want Trumpism purged from their party
12:47AM ( 1 week ago )
Rennie Davis, 'Chicago Seven' activist, dies at 80
Rennie Davis, one of the “Chicago Seven” activists who was tried for organizing an anti-Vietnam War protest outside the 1968 Democratic National Convention that turned violent, has died
8:40PM ( 1 week ago )
AP Elections - Political Conventions
On Parkland anniversary, Biden calls for tougher gun laws
Sorrow is reverberating across the country Sunday as Americans joined a Florida community in remembering the 17 lives lost three years ago in the Parkland school shooting massacre
2:27PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Myanmar rattled by army movements, apparent internet cutoff
Sightings of armored personnel carriers in Myanmar’s biggest city and leaked orders of an impending internet shutdown have raised political tensions, after vast numbers of people around the country flouted orders against demonstrations to protest the military’s seizure of power
2:13PM ( 28 minutes ago )
Czechs re-declare state of emergency to keep restrictions
The Czech government has re-declared the state of emergency for next two weeks to be able to tackle the coronavirus pandemic in one of the European Union's hardest-hit countries
2:02PM ( 39 minutes ago )
Impeachment isn't the final word on Capitol riot for Trump
Donald Trump’s acquittal at his second impeachment trial may not be the final word on whether he’s to blame for the deadly Capitol riot
1:45PM ( 56 minutes ago )
Wintry weather blanketing US to make rare dip to Gulf Coast
Wintry weather is forecast for much of the U.S., with freezing temperatures expected to dip as snow falls as far south as Texas’ Gulf Coast
1:33PM ( 1 hour ago )