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Quick Take: Trump will be acquitted, impeachment is now broken

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi, everybody. Ian Bremmer here and I've got your Quick Take for the week. The second impeachment trial in the Senate of President Trump, now former President Trump, begins. And Lindsey Graham, Republican senator, has said that we all know what's going to happen. He's right. It's going to be close to a party line vote. A couple senators, maybe a handful, will vote to convict, but the large majority will vote to acquit, which says quite something.

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A very messy impeachment

Donald Trump's second impeachment trial kicks off Tuesday, just a year after he was acquitted in the US Senate over his 2019 dealings with the Ukrainians to try and find dirt on Joe Biden's family. The former president is now charged with inciting the US Capitol insurrection.

A majority of Senate Republicans have already opposed the constitutionality of the process, making another acquittal all but assured. So, why does it matter at all this time? Here are three questions to ponder.

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Kara Swisher on Trump’s social media ban

What does renowned tech journalist Kara Swisher make of the swift and near-universal social media ban imposed on former President Trump shortly after the January 6 Capitol riots? She supported the move, but she doesn't think these companies should be left off the hook either. "Why are these systems built this way so someone like President Trump can abuse them in such a fashion. Or in fact, not abuse them but use them exactly as they were built." Her conversation with Ian Bremmer is part of the latest episode of GZERO World.

Senator Chris Murphy on why impeachment trial should proceed despite a likely acquittal

Although many Senate Republicans have signaled their intentions to acquit former President Trump of impeachment charges, Democratic Senator Chris Murphy thinks the trial should proceed anyway. "Ultimately we have a constitutional responsibility in the Senate to process these articles…you can't skip the accountability phase for a President who tried in the final days of his presidency to lead either a non-violent or a violent insurrection against democracy." If the situation was reversed, Murphy adds, and it was a president from his own party being impeached, he would still want to hold that president accountable. Sadly, he concludes, the same cannot be said about many of his colleagues across the aisle.

Murphy's conversation with Ian Bremmer is part of the latest episode of GZERO World, in which Bremmer is also joined by freshman Republican Congresswoman Nancy Mace. The episode will start airing on public television nationwide beginning this Friday, January 29th. Check local listings.

Watching Mitch McConnell

The US House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to impeach President Trump a second time. The outcome was a bit different this time because 10 House Republicans (of 211 total) voted in favor.

But there's a far more consequential difference between this impeachment and the one early last year. This time, there's a genuine possibility that when the article is sent to the Senate, two thirds of senators will vote to convict Trump of high crimes and misdemeanors. That would be a first in American history.

The outcome hinges on one man: Republican Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

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Quick Take: President Trump should be removed from office

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi everybody. Ian Bremmer here on the beginning of this extraordinary week, with the United States dominating international news, and the way we think about the future of the global order. You can say we dodged a bullet last week though. We are certainly not through the political crisis in the United States. Certainly, I also think about how it could have been a lot worse. How close we were to the vice president, his family, members of Congress, getting injured or killed. Frankly in terms of the election, if the house had turned to the GOP, and it was close to doing so, how the election response to a Biden win could have been contested much more easily, and you then have indeed a constitutional crisis. Or if the vote was much closer than it was, as opposed to the seven million and significant electoral count difference, about how the president could have been more successful, in his consistent efforts to overturn the outcome.

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Trump impeachment 2.0

After last week's storming of the US Capitol building, we asked whether Congress would act to hold President Trump responsible for inciting the insurrection to overturn the result of the 2020 election. We now know the answer: House Democrats on Monday unveiled an article of impeachment against Trump.

But though the House will vote in the coming days to begin the process, Trump — the first US president to be impeached twice — will no longer be in office by the time a trial begins in the Senate. So, why do it? Here are a few arguments for and against.

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Is the US–Iran crisis over?

Ben White, Chief Economic Correspondent for Politico, offers his analysis on today's big stories in US Politics:

Is the US-Iran crisis over?

I would say no, it's not over. It certainly de-escalated with some help from the Swiss as intermediaries. But Iran could still look to strike back really at any moment, on US oil interests, through cyberattacks. The nuclear deal is still nowhere. So, de-escalated, not over.

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