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Local party leaders react to Trump impeachment

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TUCSON (KVOA) - President Donald Trump became the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice on Wednesday.

Political scientist, Erich Saphir, tells News 4 Tucson impeaching the president with just a week to go in his term sends a message. 

"Certainly, I think this will very much be overshadowing anything else in President Trump's legacy," Saphir, a professor at Pima Community College said. "Yes, it's pretty dramatic."

Ten House Republicans crossed the aisle, joining all House Democrats to support impeachment.

Pima County GOP Chair Shelley Kais is disappointed. 

"This was not the decision that should have been made that will heal our country, that will bring us back to working together," Kais said. "And it will certainly carry a huge cloud over President-elect Biden's presidency."

Pima County Democratic Party Chair, Bonnie Heidler, argues the president incited an insurrection and she believes after the assault on the Capitol building, this had to be done. 

"What this is about is a President of the United States inciting a group of people to riot and attack not only our democracy but our Capitol, which is a symbol of our democracy," Heidler said. "No matter what the statement that is being made is that nobody is above the law." 

Saphir believes this is a significant turning point as some Republicans are breaking away from this president. 

"It makes it clear that there are an increasing number of people in the Republican Party, in the leadership who are ready to take the political hits that will be coming their way by separating themselves from President Trump," Saphir said. 

Next up is a trial in the Senate on whether to convict President Trump of inciting an insurrection.

Sixty-seven Senators would have to vote yes to convict. That means 17 Republicans would have to crossover to support a conviction. 

If that happens, a simple majority vote of 51 Senators can ban President Trump from ever running for federal office again. 

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