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How President Trump is reacting to his impeachment

President Trump on Wednesday became the first president in America history to be impeached twice. Yamiche Alcindor joins Judy Woodruff to discuss how the president reacted to his impeachment and how he may deal with a Senate trial should it take place after he leaves office.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    And now we go to our Yamiche Alcindor.

    So, Yamiche, President Trump becomes the first president in American history to be impeached twice. What do we know about how he is reacting to this?

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    Well, President Trump is furious at the idea that his marred legacy became even more tarnished today, as he became the first president to be impeached twice.

    The president spent most of the day watching TV, watching the impeachment vote and debate play out on TV. The president, in some ways, was really lashing out at people, because what he saw were Republicans saying that he betrayed his oath of office, of course, along with Democrats saying that he is a walking impeachment offense.

    The president also, just in the last few seconds, released a five-minute video where he says that no supporter of his would be involved in any sort of violence or any sort of attack on law enforcement. He also said, though, that he's very worried about this free speech issue, saying that there are attempts to cancel people and to try to unfairly target people for free speech.

    There were some defenders of the president who were talking about free speech. But I have to tell you, he is talking about a small group of people defending him, because the number of people that I talked to today, they say, even if this is about free speech, they still believe that the president should not have said what he said.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    And, Yamiche, picking up on that, what do we know about how the president would deal with a Senate trial?

    As Lisa just reported, it's not clear that there will be one if it happens after he leaves office. But what are they thinking? What are they planning?

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    Well, I spoke to a number of legal experts today, including a lawyer for President Trump. And it's clear that he's going to have some real problems recruiting lawyers.

    Alan Dershowitz, who at one point was one of the lead attorneys during the first impeachment, told me that President Trump had the right to say what he said, but that it was not right for him to say what he said.

    There are a number of other attorneys who are not going to be part of this defense, including Jay Sekulow, the White House counsel, Pat Cipollone. Alan Dershowitz also told me he's not going to be part of this defense.

    The only person we think of right now who's going to be part of that defense for sure is Rudy Giuliani, the president's personal attorney, who has at times spread false information, so we have to see where this goes.

    The defense, though, will be about free speech. They will also be arguing that this was a political hack job and a witch-hunt against the president, which is what he said today in that video that he referenced and that he released today.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Yamiche Alcindor reporting on the reaction at the White House.

    Yamiche, thanks so much.

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