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Trump impeachment trial day 1: Senate vote, Raskin’s emotional arguments, graphic riot video



Donald Trump

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

Mandel Ngan / Getty Images

The unprecedented second impeachment trial against former President Donald Trump started today in the US Senate, giving both sides two hours to present their first arguments about whether the trial of a former president is constitutional.

Lead House impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin started the process with brief comments before showing a graphic video of the January 6 attack on the Capitol. “You won’t hear extensive lectures from me, because our case is based on cold, hard facts,” Raskin said. “It’s all about the facts.”

After Raskin’s emotional speech, addressing the death of his son Tommy Raskin just days before the uprising, Trump’s legal team took the stand, relying on a more dispassionate analysis of the constitution.

Read: Trump impeachment trial stream: how do you view today’s powerful opening arguments?

Trump is facing a single impeachment article accusing him of instigating insurgency over the Riot at the Capitol on January 6, which killed five people, including a Capitol Police officer. In a speech that day before the White House, Trump called on 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.

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 previously argued that this is not how the constitution works. “The constitution makes it clear that there will be no exception to impeachment in January, that a president cannot commit serious offenses in his last days and escape any reaction from Congress.”

Trump impeachment

All eyes are on Donald Trump’s historic impeachment trial this week.

James Martin / CNET

Following the arguments, the Senate voted on whether it is constitutional to try a former president. In total, 56 senators voted for and 44 against, meaning six Republican senators voted to continue the process. In a previous motion on Jan. 27 to declare the process unconstitutional, only five Republicans voted with the Democrats in the Senate. Republican sens. Mitt Romney, Ben Sasse, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and Pat Toomey were joined this time by Senator Ben Cassidy.

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

The trial has been delayed to Wednesday noon ET (9 a.m.PT) and is expected to last all weekend. It started at 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

We will explain what we know about how the impeachment process might go, what it takes to convict or acquit (see table below), what is at stake and where the situation is now. This story is constantly being updated with new information.

Read more: The 14th Amendment is the cornerstone of Trump’s impeachment

Diagram of Trump’s impeachment process

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

  • Feb. 10, 12 noon ET: The House of Representatives begins to argue his 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.

Where can I get live coverage of the impeachment trial?

To tune in to the impeachment trial, which is expected to last all week, here’s what follows where you can stream it live for free.

You can watch the video the Democrats used to start the process here. You can follow the course of the day on CNN and The New York Times.

Will Trump testify? Will anyone?

Raskin sent a letter to Trump’s legal team last week asking that the former president testify under oath and cross-examine 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.

This is expected during the process video evidence will be used in lieu of witness statements, as well as other evidence from social media and images shared over the internet.

What would happen if Trump was convicted or acquitted?

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. Only a simple majority is required for this vote, while Vice President Kamala Harris who served as Senate President would bring a draw 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

Who chairs the Trump impeachment process?

The US Constitution provides clear guidelines for impeaching a sitting president and other officials for “treason, bribery, or other serious crimes and offenses.” However, the Trump trial is an uncommon case. With his second impeachment, Trump, who became a private citizen on January 20, is the first president to be impeached twice and the first to be tried after taking office.

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court would normally chair the impeachment process of a president. But since it is not a trial against a sitting president, it is instead chaired by Senator Patrick Leahy, the new Senate President Pro Tempore, who is expected to be able to vote in the process as a senator as well.

The House continues the case, and the Senate sits on the jury, ultimately voting 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.

Why was Trump impeached in 2019?

Trump was impeached by the House in December 2019, but the Republican majority The Senate 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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