A growing number of Republican senators say they oppose holding an impeachment trial, the AP reports, a sign of the dimming chances that former President Donald Trump will be convicted on the charge that he incited a siege of the US Capitol. House Democrats, who will walk the impeachment charge of “incitement of insurrection” to the Senate on Monday evening, are hoping that strong Republican denunciations of Trump after the Jan. 6 riot will translate into a conviction and a separate vote to bar Trump from holding office again. But GOP passions appear to have cooled since the insurrection, and now that Trump's presidency is over, Republican senators who will serve as jurors in the trial are rallying to his legal defense.
“I think the trial is stupid, I think it’s counterproductive,” said Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.. He said that "the first chance I get to vote to end this trial, I’ll do it” because he believes it would be bad for the country and further inflame partisan divisions. Arguments in the Senate trial will begin the week of Feb. 8. An early vote to dismiss the trial probably would not succeed, given that Democrats now control the Senate. Still, the Republican opposition indicates that many GOP senators would eventually vote to acquit Trump. Democrats would need the support of 17 Republicans—a high bar—to convict him. A few GOP senators have agreed with Democrats, though not close to the number that will be needed to convict Trump.
(Read more Trump impeachment