Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio said Saturday that Republicans are scared of former President Donald Trump.
Per The Hill, speaking to a group of reporters at the Capitol, Brown argued that Republicans have made it clear they won't stand up to Trump despite the "damage he's done to his country."
"It's so clear this president abused his power. It's so clear he incited violence. And my colleagues just refuse to see it because of their abject fear of Donald Trump," Brown continued.
Democrats in the House of Representatives impeached Trump last month for inciting an insurrection against the U.S. government. They maintain that the former commander-in-chief instructed his supporters to violently storm the Capitol building in a doomed attempt to stop the certification of Electoral College votes in the 2020 presidential election.
Only 10 House Republicans voted with their Democratic colleagues and the vast majority of Republicans in the upper chamber have expressed opposition to impeachment, deeming it unconstitutional and claiming that Trump should not be tried because he is no longer in office.
According to Brown, Republicans realize that Trump is guilty of what he is being accused of, but they fear him so much that they would rather not vote their conscience.
"They know he incited violence. But their fear of this president campaigning against them -- I've never seen fear do this. You can see it in their eyes."Brown slammed Republicans as "spineless," stressing that fear of the former commander-in-chief is still driving their decisions, even though he is no longer in the White House.
"I'm incredulous. I'm incredulous, except I've watched my spineless colleagues walk around with fear in their eyes for four years. And so maybe I shouldn't be surprised," he said.
As The Hill noted, Brown and other Democrats have moved to extend the trial, voting in favor of subpoenaing witnesses and documents.Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Saturday that he, too, will vote to acquit Trump. Echoing comments made by other Republicans, McConnell said that the trial is unconstitutional and argued that Congress does not have the jurisdiction to convict a former head of state.
In a recent Ipsos poll conducted for Reuters, 47 percent of respondents said that Trump should be convicted. However, about seven in 10 Republicans said the opposite, indicating that the country is still sharply divided along partisan lines.
In the same survey, 51 percent of respondents said that Trump should not be allowed to hold office again and 38 percent said that he should.