WATCH LIVE: Trump’s second impeachment trial begins in Senate | Day 1
Former president accused of inciting mutiny at the Capitol, where lawmakers certified Joe Biden‘s election victory
WASHINGTON – Senate to Start Proceedings on Unprecedented Second Impeachment of Donald Trump on Tuesday.
The former president has been accused of inciting mutiny, allegedly calling on his supporters to oppose lawmakers gathered in the Capitol to certify Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in last year’s presidential election..
The protest turned into chaos when about 800 Trump supporters stormed into the Capitol, smashed windows and doors, ransacked several offices and clashed with police.
Currently, the Senate seats are split exactly in half: 50 for Democrats and 50 for Republicans..
In this situation, Trump will almost certainly be acquitted, as he was a year ago, when he was accused of trying to persuade the President of Ukraine to find incriminating evidence on Biden ahead of the presidential elections in November last year..
A week after the storming of the Capitol, the House of Representatives voted to accuse Trump of «incitement to mutiny». Then this decision was supported by 232 congressmen, 197 voted against, and among those who voted for there were 222 Democrats and 10 Republicans.
Then, on January 20, Biden was sworn in as 46–second president of the United States, and Trump flew on a presidential plane to the Atlantic coast of Florida, where his mansion is located and where he has remained since then.
Trump turned down a Democratic offer to testify in his defense at the impeachment hearings, and is not expected to attend. The proceedings may take a week or even longer.
Trump accused of inciting mutiny in connection with the invasion of the Capitol by his supporters.
Earlier, he called on his supporters to gather in Washington on January 6, stating that it would «stormy» event. At a rally outside the White House, Trump urged them to march to the Capitol and «in a peaceful and patriotic manner» get them «voices were heard».
At the same time, he stated: «Our country is already fed up with this. We will not tolerate this anymore, that is the whole point. If you use a favorite phrase that you all actually came up with, we will stop the theft! And we will fight. We will fight with all our might, because if you don’t fight with all your might, you will no longer have a country».
Nine House Democrats, who will serve as prosecutors, will try to convince the Senate to convict Trump and bar him from holding public office.
In previously filed documents, Trump’s defense said the Senate does not have the necessary constitutional powers to prosecute the former president as he has already left office and is now a private citizen..
This argument would allow Republicans to vote against conviction without directly defending Trump’s aggressive rhetoric..
Trump’s lawyers also suggested that he simply took advantage of the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech when challenging the election results. According to lawyers, he unequivocally called on his supporters to participate in a peaceful protest..
In January, the Senate made an attempt to dismiss the case on the grounds that it was unconstitutional to try the former president. This initiative was supported by 45 out of 50 senators–republicans.
On Monday, the impeachment managers filed the following statement with the Senate: «The evidence for President Trump’s behavior is overwhelming. He has no valid excuse for these actions. And his attempts to avoid responsibility are completely unsuccessful. Under the impeachment clause, President Trump broke his oath and betrayed the American people. His incitement to mutiny against the United States government, which violated the peaceful transfer of power, is the most serious constitutional crime when–or perfect president».
«There should be no doubt that such behavior is categorically unacceptable., – stated further in their statement. – In trial, the House of Representatives will prove that President Trump deserves a conviction and disqualification, barring him from holding any honorary, confidential, or paid office in the United States.».
The team of prosecutors will be led by Congressman Jamie Ruskin. In addition, Diana Degett, David Cichilline, Joaquin Castro, Eric Swalwell, Ted Liu, Stacy Plaskett, Madeleine Dean and Joe Neguse will act as impeachment managers..