Former President Trump’s Historic Second Impeachment Trial Starts Today
Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial is set to begin today, February 9.
The former POTUS is facing the charge of ‘incitement of insurrection’ following the Capitol riots that broke out on January 6, which left five people dead.
Today’s part of the trial will consist of four hours of debate on whether it is constitutional for the Senate to try a former president in an impeachment proceeding, and also whether the Senate can prevent an official from running for office again if they are ‘removed’ when they have left office.
Starting at 12pm on Wednesday, February 10, each side will have 16 hours to present their cases. It’s believed the prosecution will use videos of the events that unfolded as opposed to documents, emails and testimony, which were used against Trump in his first impeachment trial in January 2020.
Democrats say they have ‘overwhelming’ evidence to support their claims, but Trump’s defence team are expected to argue that rioters acted independently.
It was through Trump’s failure to concede and his speeches addressing the rioters that the Democrats believe he encouraged the Capitol riots.
They said yesterday, February 8, as per BBC News:
His incitement of insurrection against the United States government – which disrupted the peaceful transfer of power – is the most grievous constitutional crime ever committed by a president.
Trump is the only president to have been impeached twice, and only one of three presidents to have been impeached at all.
Two-thirds of the 100-seat Senate is required to convict, and if Trump is found guilty, he will be prevented from holding office ever again.
The trial’s framework for the trial was outlined by Senate leaders yesterday. As per BBC News, US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said, ‘All parties have agreed to a structure that will ensure a fair and honest Senate impeachment trial of the former president.’
Meanwhile, Trump’s defence team have argued that the Senate no longer has the grounds to impeach Trump as he has already left office, reported The Guardian, but the nine ‘impeachment managers’ – Democrats from the House of Representatives who will lay out the case for prosecution – will argue that despite this, he should still be held accountable for his actions.
Trump’s previous impeachment trial lasted more than two weeks, but leaders from both parties are hoping that this won’t last as long. It is expected that this trial will last at least through this week, however.
Regarding Trump’s unfounded claims of the election being rigged, his team argue that these were protected by the country’s first amendment.
Part of his defence team’s brief reads, ‘Even taking every one of Mr Trump’s prior statements about the election in the most negative light, they were, at most, only abstract discussions that never advocated for physical force.’
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