‘There was not the remotest chance this would convince me Donald Trump deserved to be removed,’ Wicker says of trial

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Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., arrives at the Senate Chamber at the Capitol Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020, in Washington. President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial quickly burst into a partisan fight Tuesday as proceedings began unfolding at the Capitol. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
WASHINGTON — Only a handful of U.S. senators participated the past two presidential impeachments.
Roger Wicker, the senior senator from Mississippi, is one of them.
A longtime Tupelo resident and conservative, Wicker is also a staunch defender of President Donald Trump. This week, despite strongly asserting that he does not agree with Democrats that the president committed impeachable offenses, Wicker has appeared committed to intently listening to Democratic prosecutors’ case.
After the U.S. House of Representatives voted in December 2019 to impeach Trump, seven House members are now presenting their case to the Senate, which will in coming days decide whether to convict Trump and remove him from office.
Trump, who became just the third president in U.S. history to be impeached, faces abuse of office and obstruction of Congress charges. The proceedings have been partisan, with most Democrats supporting impeachment and conviction, while Republicans opposed impeachment and support acquittal.
On what was expected to be the final day of Democratic arguments, Wicker sat down with Mississippi Today moments before the day’s proceedings began to discuss his approach to the impeachment trial, whether he’s been impartial and how historians may recall the moment.
This story has been edited for clarity and length.
Mississippi Today: We’ve been in the press gallery this week. You’ve looked attentive. You’ve been taking notes and reading some of your public statements before and during the trial. What has your approach been this week as the hearings begun?
U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker: My approach has been to listen. I haven’t had a preconceived idea about how (Democrats) should lay out their argument. We do cover the same