Lead House impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin started the process with brief comments before showing a video of the January 6 attack on the Capitol. “You won’t hear extensive lectures from me because our case is based on hard facts,” he said. “It’s all about the facts.”
During the first two hours of the trial, the Democratic impeachment managers presented the case that a president could face charges for an accusing crime after leaving office. In comments on the Senate floor, House impeachment manager Rep. David Cicilline: “ President Trump and his lawyers today can argue that he should be given a free pass for instigating armed insurrection against the US government and endangering Congress, as he put it. , this accusation is somehow “unconstitutional.” “
Raskin argued that this is not how the constitution works. “The constitution makes it clear that there will be no exception to impeachment forces in January, that a president cannot commit serious crimes in his last days and escape any reaction from Congress.”
Trump is facing a single article of impeachment accusing him of instigating insurgency over the, killing 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. At a historic moment, to vote for impeachment.
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. Only five Republicans voted with Senate Democrats on Jan. 27 against a motion declaring the process unconstitutional.
Biden has said he supports the trial. Trump “was impeached by the House and it has to move forward or it would look so ridiculous what this was all about,” Biden said, adding that leaving the trial would “make a mockery of the system.”
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 updated with new information.
Diagram of Trump’s impeachment process
The impeachment article was submitted to the Senate on Jan. 25, with senators sworn in on Jan. 26. Trump’s response to the impeachment article was given on Feb. 2, followed by preliminary instructions from both sides on Feb. 8.
This is how the process will unfold (and here is):
- Feb. 9, 1:00 p.m. ET: There will be four hours of debate, split equally between prosecutors and defense, as to whether the trial is constitutional, followed by a vote that requires a simple majority to proceed.
- Feb. 10, noon ET: House of Representatives begins to argue his case; prosecutors and defenders each have up to 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: The lawsuit will drop on Saturday.
- Feb. 14, 2 p.m. ET: The trial will take place again on Sunday.
- The arguments are followed by four hours for questions from senators.
- If the House impeachment managers want to summon witnesses or subpoenas 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 have been dealt with, there will be four hours of closing arguments split equally between the prosecutors and the defense.
- Finally comes the vote on conviction or acquittal, which requires a two-thirds majority.
Where can I read live coverage of the impeachment trial?
To tune in to the impeachment trial, which is expected to last all week, here’s what follows.
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.
What are the main arguments on both sides?
The constitutional legality of the trial will come into sharper focus, with Trump’s attorneys claiming the trial is constitutionally prohibited, and House prosecutors claiming it is.
Trump’s legal team has called the House’s charges “bizarre,” saying the impeachment trial is a “brutal political act.” Trump’s defense also denies that the former president’s speech on January 6 “an, criminal action or any form of physical violence “and that it is fully protected by the First Amendment right of free speech. Trump’s lawyers further argue that the former president should not be tried because he is no longer in office.
In response, the House of Representatives impeachment process managers said Trump’s speech was “a head-on attack on the First Amendment,” claiming the constitution’s intent is to ensure that presidents stand trial for constitutional crimes committed under oath of office.
When President Trump demanded that the armed, angry mob at his Save America Rally ‘fight like hell’ or ‘you will have no land,’ he did not urge them to set up political action committees, ”he said. the letter. claims. “This is not about protected speech. The House did not accuse President Trump of expressing an unpopular political opinion. It accused him of deliberately instigating violent insurgency against the government.”
House prosecutors also allege Trump continued to incite violence throughout January 6, such as “issuing a tweet attacking the vice president while insurgents tried to kill him.”
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 processwill 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 itin the Senate, there will be an additional vote to prevent him from re-running (under Article 1, Section 3 of the US Constitution), which would rule out a possible presidential run in 2024. Only a simple majority is required for this vote, while Kamala Harris, who served as Senate President, would bring a tie if necessary.
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.
What could happen during Trump’s 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 has been a private person since January 20, is the first president to be impeached twice and the first to be tried after leaving office.
The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court would normally chair the impeachment process of a president. But because it is not a trial against a sitting president, it will instead be 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 will prosecute the case and the Senate will sit as a jury and 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.
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 research. The articles also charged Trump with interfering with a home investigation into the Ukraine issue.