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'Tribalism is a hell of a drug.' Trump impeachment trial reopens GOP battle lines even as he is acquitted

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WASHINGTON – Hours before Senate Republicans acquitted Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial, a GOP House member nearly knocked if off track.

Senate Republicans had to beat back last-minute Democrat demands to call witnesses after Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash.– who had backed impeachment – said  House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told her Trump had dismissed pleas for help as his supporters ransacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

The call for witnesses failed, but it didn’t take long for Herrera Beutler to become a target of Trump’s supporters. 

“The gift that keeps on giving to the Democrats … The Trump loyal 75 million are watching,” tweeted freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., a fierce Trump loyalist.

The back and forth underscored the internal battle among Republicans, between those who want to continue following Trump and those who believe the party needs to move beyond a disgraced ex-president to win elections in the future.

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