Rep. Joaquin Castro talks Trump impeachment, potential bid against Ted Cruz and COVID-19 relief checks

San Antonio Democrat discusses the Biden administration, new Congress

Castro spoke with La Prensa Texas earlier this week about the impeachment effort and why the case for conviction needs to be made.

Editor’s note: This content is published through a partnership between La Prensa Texas and KSAT.

Just days into Joe Biden’s presidency, the Senate is set to begin the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump for his role in the deadly Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6.

An article of impeachment is expected to be sent to the U.S. Senate on Monday, and one of the nine impeachment managers who will argue to convict Trump is San Antonio Congressman Joaquin Castro.

Castro spoke with La Prensa Texas this week about the impeachment effort and why the case for conviction needs to be made.

Critics of the House of Representatives’ impeachment effort have argued there is no point in conducting the trial because Trump is already out of office, but Castro said removal of office is not the only reason to try the former president.

“First is accountability,” Castro said. “Because you want to make sure that every president knows, going forward, that they can’t incite a riot or an insurrection in the last few weeks of their presidency and feel like they’re going to get away with it.”

Another reason: an impeachment conviction would also likely mean Trump would be disqualified from holding federal public office again. (If 67 senators vote to convict Trump, a simple majority can additionally vote on disqualifying him from office.)

”It is a high bar to convict any president in the Senate,” Castro said. “We’re trying to convince every single Republican and Democrat that there has to be consequences for the president’s actions and that the president ... incited an attempted coup of the United States government.”

Five people lost their lives due to the riot, including one Capitol police officer. Hundreds have been arrested for their alleged role, including several people from Texas.

“This was a very dangerous, very serious situation that could have actually been a lot worse,” Castro said.

Joaquin Castro and his twin brother Julian, former HUD Secretary who also served as San Antonio mayor, have both called for the resignation of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz because of his continued objection to the electoral college results that sealed Biden’s victory against Trump.

With Cruz resisting those calls, Texas Democrats expect one of the Castro brothers to run against Cruz in 2024, when his current term ends.

“I think either one of my sons is eminently qualified (to run for Senate),” said Rosie Castro, the mother of Joaquin and Julian Castro, said in an interview with La Prensa Texas. “I do not believe that Mr. Cruz represents many of us in the state of Texas.”

For now, Rep. Joaquin Castro isn’t focused on a potential Senate bid.

“That’s just my mom being my mom,” he said. “Right now, I’m focused on the fact that I’m part of a nine person impeachment management team ... and so I’ve been pouring all of my energy and my focus into that right now.”

Congress must balance the impeachment with the confirmation of Biden’s cabinet picks, along with a proposed $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package that would include a direct $1,400 check to most Americans.

“I think that we should make the full push for the full $2,000,” Castro said, echoing the platform that partially helped Democrats win the two runoff seats in Georgia and flip the Senate. “I think we can go further. You know, the House of Representatives over the past nine months passed multiple bills for relief and unfortunately those got hung up in the U.S. Senate.”

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About the Author:

Fares Sabawi has been a journalist in San Antonio for three years. He has covered several topics, but specializes in crime, courts and data visualization.