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Home / Tips and Tricks / The main takeaways from the Trump impeachment trial so far: video, Raskin, where’s Trump?

The main takeaways from the Trump impeachment trial so far: video, Raskin, where’s Trump?



Donald Trump

The second impeachment trial against former President Donald Trump could take a week.

Mandel Ngan / Getty Images

The second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump in the Senate would always be a historic moment. It is the first time a president has been called to stand trial twice, and the first time a president has left office deposed by the House of Representatives and their trial in the Senate.

The trial will also take a different form than usual, chaired by a voting member of the Senate (who is also a witness), and is expected to last up to a week. Another aspect of the trial is that Trump is represented in the impeachment court by his attorneys, but is himself nearly a thousand miles away.

Trump is facing a single article of impeachment accusing him of instigating insurgency over the Riot at the Capitol on January 6, killing five people, including a Capitol Police officer. In a speech that day before the White House, Trump urged his supporters to march to the Capitol. The siege of the Capitol was intended to nullify the 2020 election results and halt the process of confirming Joe Biden’s victory in the Electoral College. Biden was confirmed after the riot later inaugurated on January 20. At a historic moment, 10 House Republicans broke with their party to vote for impeachment.

We’ll walk you through everything you need to know, starting with the main takeaways from day 1 of the trial period, and what to expect from day 2. We will continue to update this story with new information.

Watch: Trump impeachment trial stream: day 2 arguments

Trump impeachment

All eyes are on the historic process of impeaching President Trump this week.

James Martin / CNET

Graphic video on Day 1 may be just the beginning

On Day 1, Head House impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin with a disturbing presentation video timeline of the assault on the Capitol, using images taken around and in the Capitol on January 6. The graphic riot video featured attacks on the police and Ashli ​​Babbitt’s fatal shooting. Raskin spoke in his opening address about the deaths of his son Tommy before the attack, which he described as ‘the saddest day of our lives’, and talked about the emotional effects the Capitol attack had on his family who were with him. during the riot. .

Raskin and the Democratic prosecutors are expected to rely on both widely available and never-before-seen video images of the riot and other events. The prosecution is expected to use video evidence along with emotional arguments to paint a picture of Trump’s speeches and actions that culminated in the riot, both seen as an attack on democracy.

Trump attorneys’ defense rests on two things

On Day 1, Trump’s legal team took the stand, relying on a more dispassionate analysis of the constitution to suggest that the impeachment trial is without merit. The defense is widely expected to counteract the prosecution’s emotional arguments with the opposite approach.

Presidents are impeached. Presidents are detachable. Former presidents are not because they cannot be removed, Trump attorney David Shoen said. “The constitution is clear. Trial by the Senate is reserved for the president of the United States, not an individual or a former president.”

Raskin countered, “The constitution makes it clear that there is no exception to impeachment in January, that a president cannot commit serious crimes in his last days and escape any reaction from Congress.”

In addition to arguing that the trial is unconstitutional, Trump’s lawyers are also expected to argue that Trump exercised his right to free speech and that the Capitol Hill rioters acted alone.

Read more: The 14th Amendment is a cornerstone of Trump’s Day 2 impeachment

Where is Trump during his trial? Will he testify?

Trump was in Florida on the first day of his trial, at his private Mar-a-Lago club, nearly 1,000 miles from Capitol Hill.

The New York Times reported that Trump was “furious” at how his lawyers treated day one, describing the former president as “frustrated and enraged” at the often “boisterous” performance of lawyers. Despite his reported frustration with his defense, Trump is not expected to appear at his trial.

Raskin sent a letter to Trump’s legal team last week requesting that the former president testify under oath and submit to cross-examination before or at trial. Trump attorney Bruce Castor called the request a “publicity stunt” and said his client would not give testimony.

Because Trump “immediately rejected” the opportunity to give personal testimony, the House will argue that this decision “supports a strong negative inference regarding [his] actions and inactivity on January 6, ‘says House’s preliminary proceedings.

6th Republican Senator joins Democrats in test vote

Following the arguments of the two parties, the Senate voted on whether it is constitutional to try a former president. A total of 56 senators voted for and 44 against – meaning six Republican senators voted to continue the process, along with the 48 Democrats and two independents.

“It was disorganized, arbitrary,” Senator Bill Cassidy, a Louisiana Republican, said after the proceedings. “[Trump’s lawyers] Speaking of many things, but not the issue at hand … Is it constitutional to depose a president who has left office? And the House managers have made a compelling, convincing case and the president’s team has not. “

To condemn Trump, 17 Republican senators would have to vote in favor, along with 48 Democrats and two independents, to reach a two-thirds super majority.

In a previous motion on Jan. 27 to declare the process unconstitutional, only five Republicans voted with the Democrats in the Senate. On Monday, the Republican SENS voted. Mitt Romney, Ben Sasse, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and Pat Toomey this time at by Cassidy to vote in favor.

The senator presiding over Trump’s impeachment process is also a juror

The U.S. Constitution sets clear guidelines for the removal of a sitting president: the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court must be in charge. Trump’s trial is an uncommon case, however, as he is now a private person on January 20.

Senator Patrick Leahy, the new Senate President Pro Tempore, is in the chair. As a senator, he is expected to also be able to vote in the process. He is also a witness to the uprising in the Capitol. The House continues the case and the Senate sits on the jury and will ultimately vote for conviction or acquittal.

To condemn Trump, 67 senators – or two-thirds of the Senate – must vote in favor. After Biden’s inauguration, the Senate now consists of 48 Democrats, two independents who consult with Democrats and 50 Republicans, for an even 50-50 split.

The trial is already starting smoothly

Raskin and the other house managers do not promise “extended lectures” and plan to conduct a quick trial “based on cold hard facts”.

This is how the process will unfold (and here is where to look on day 2):

  • Feb. 10, 12 p.m. ET: House of Representatives process managers will plead their case; prosecutors and defense each have a maximum of 16 hours to present their arguments, with neither party allowed to be present for more than eight hours a day.
  • Feb. 12, 5 p.m. ET: Trial will break on Saturday.
  • Feb. 14, 2 p.m. ET: The trial will take place again Sunday.
  • The arguments are followed by four hours for questions from senators.
  • If the House impeachment managers wish to summon witnesses or subpoena documents, there will be a two-hour debate by both sides, followed by a Senate vote on whether or not to allow this.
  • If witnesses are called, there will be sufficient time to drop them and for each party to complete the discovery before giving any testimony.
  • Once witnesses and evidence are dealt with, there will be four hours of closing arguments evenly split between the prosecutors and the defense.
  • Finally comes the vote on conviction or acquittal, which requires a two-thirds majority.

This happens if the Senate convicts or acquits Trump

If it former president has been convicted in the Senate, there will be an additional vote to prevent him from re-running (under Article 1, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution), which would rule out a possible presidential run in 2024. For this vote, only a regular Kamala Harris serving as Senate President would score a tie if necessary.

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Brett Pearce / CNET

Trump could also be disqualified for the benefits given to former presidents by the Post Presidents Act, including a Secret Service security detail, pension, and annual travel allowance.

Depicted presidents also cannot be pardoned under the US Constitution.

If acquitted, Trump would have access to all the benefits of a former US president, including the option to run for public office.

More background: Trump’s Second Senate Impeachment Trial: Here’s What Could Happen

More details on Trump’s impeachment in 2019

Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives in December 2019, but the Senate with a Republican majority acquitted him in early 2020.

His first charge involved articles accusing Trump of abuse of power and obstructing Congress. The problem was Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, including a phone call in July 2019 in which he appeared to be using US military aid as a bargaining chip to pressure Ukraine to break the alleged links between his political opponent Biden, Biden’s son Hunter and a Ukrainian gas company. to investigate. The articles also accused Trump of interfering with a home investigation into the Ukraine issue.




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