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Trump Impeachment Trial: Highlights So Far, What Defense Lawyers Will Say Today



Trump impeachment

The second impeachment trial against former President Donald Trump is now shifting to the defense.

James Martin / CNET

On Friday, the second impeachment process from former President Donald Trump is moving to a new phase. After two days creating a case with sometimes disturbing video images and audio recordings from the attack on the Capitol On January 6, Trump’s attorneys, David Schoen and Bruce Castor, will now set up their defense of his behavior in the run-up to the violent siege by rioters to overturn the results of the November election.

“Is there a political leader in this room who believes that if Donald Trump is ever allowed to return to the Oval Office by the Senate, he would stop inciting violence to get his way?” asked chief impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin on Thursday. ‘Would you bet the lives of more police officers on that? Would you bet the safety of your family on that? ‘

Raskin argued that Trump would be held accountable for the actions on Jan. 6, and that unless the Senate votes to condemn, he or another president would be encouraged to encourage further violent action in the future. By showing how relatively easy it was to break into the Capitol and loot it, the rioters provided a blueprint for future attacks on the land.

How to watch: Trump impeachment trial stream: arguments from Defense

Trump “has failed utterly in his duty to preserve, protect and defend,” said Rep. Joaquin Castro Thursday. “The world watched President Trump tell his big lie … the world watched as he asked his supporters to come here to the Capitol,” he added. “The world is now looking to see if the rule of law will prevail over the rule of the crowd.”

The impeachment managers who served as prosecutors argued this week that the violent uprising was predictable and predictable, as Trump continued to fan the flames during his January 6 rally, following a pattern of praise and fomenting violence by his supporters since 2016.

Another important point in the case was security footage of former Vice President Mike Pence be brought to safety with his family after rioters breached the Capitol and sung threats against him.

Trump’s lawyers are expected to argue that Trump as a private individual cannot be constitutionally convicted on the charge of impeachment; that Democratic leaders have used language similar to Trump and that his comments are protected under the First Amendment; and that House’s process managers have not established a clear link between Trump’s actions and the January 6 uprising. (More on Trump’s defense strategy below.)

With Senate Democrats appearing united in a vote to condemn, Trump’s lawyers will be speaking to Republican senators who are still weighing up the allegations.

The trial starts again at noon ET (9 a.m.PT), with a vote is coming this weekend (schedule here)

Keep reading for everything you need to know about key moments in the trial so far, Trump’s attorneys’ defense strategy, and the new trial schedule. We will continue to update this story as the trial progresses.

Trump impeachment

All eyes are on the historic impeachment trial this week.

James Martin / CNET

Great moments from Donald Trump’s impeachment process so far

House impeachment managers, who are serving as prosecutors in the impeachment process of the Senate, closed their case against Trump on Thursday for instigating the Jan. 6 uprising. Trump’s defense team is taking over today.

This is the main evidence presented by the house managers:

  • Previously unseen riot images with the attack on the Capitol, including security footage and mock-up models showing where rioters were in relation to senators.
  • Video and audio clips and social media reports showed Trump repeatedly calling for supporters to storm the Capitol before January 6. Video clips of the siege contain songs of threatening violence against Pence and members of Congress, as well as false allegations about the election. Trump intentionally used false allegations of electoral fraud, House executives said, to “instigate an angry base to ‘fight like hell'” to reverse a legitimate election.
  • Video and social media posts from supporters Attending Trump’s Jan. 6 rally ahead of the Capitol riot is intended to prove a causal link between Trump’s comments at the rally and the actions of the rioters.
  • Images from Trump rallies from 2016 and 2017, urging supporters to attack protesters at the events and praising the attacks, which they say show a pattern of supportive violence, they said. They also pointed to Trump tweeting praise when supporters attempted to drive a Biden-Harris campaign bus off the road in Texas ahead of the 2020 election.
  • Trump statements the attack revealed a lack of remorse and refusal to be held accountable, sending a message to future presidents that there will be no repercussions for provoking an uprising if the senate does not vote to condemn, the case said. At least 16 administrative officials resigned in the days following the riot, managers added.
  • Taking over Trump could have political ramificationsprosecutors said. The high cost to state and federal governments of preparing for – and recovering from – “President Trump’s gang,” and the emotional toll on congressmen, staff and workers resulting from the riot were also highlighted.

Trump’s defense team is ready today: this is what the defense is all about

On Day 1, Trump’s legal team relied on a neutral analysis of the constitution to suggest that the impeachment trial is unfounded. The defense is generally expected to counteract the prosecution’s emotional and visual arguments with this different approach.

Trump’s team will reportedly be present for just three to four hours on Friday after Republican senators – acting as jurors in this case – held a private meeting with Trump’s lawyers Thursday night. The former president’s lawyers are expected to argue that Trump exercised his right to free speech in the First Amendment and that the Capitol Hill rioters acted alone.

The First Amendment doesn’t stop you from facing the consequences for your words, Raskin said Thursday, especially when you hold the highest leadership position in the country. “There is nothing in the First Amendment … that can excuse your betrayal of your oath of office,” Raskin said. “It’s not a matter of freedom of speech. [It’s] the greatest betrayal of a presidential oath in America’s history. “

Raskin asked Trump’s team to answer five questions during their arguments Friday:

1Why didn’t Trump tell his supporters to stop the attack as soon as he heard about it?

2Why didn’t Trump do anything to stop the attack for at least two hours after it started?

3Why did Trump do nothing for at least two hours to send help to the besieged Capitol Police?

4Why did Trump not condemn the insurgents and insurgents at any point that day?

5If a president were to instigate a violent uprising against the government, would that be a serious crime or felony?

Trump impeachment vote on Saturday?

Trump’s impeachment trial would initially pause from Friday at 5 p.m. ET to Sunday afternoon, if the trial was not completed by then. But due to a series of events, if there are no delays, there may be a vote for acquittal or conviction on Saturday or Sunday, such as a call for witnesses or documents. Here’s more information on the current impeachment procedure and where to look on day 4

The 6th Republican Senator joined Democrats in the test vote

Following the two sides’ arguments, 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, random,” said Senator Bill Cassidy, a Louisiana Republican, 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 the 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. Mitt Romney, Ben Sasse, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and Pat Toomey this time at by Cassidy to vote in favor.

What happens if the senate condemns or acquits Trump?

If the Senate votes on the former president, it will hold an additional vote to prevent him from re-participating (under Article 1, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution), which would rule out a possible presidential run in 2024. This vote would only require a simple majority, with Vice President Kamala Harris as Senate President to issue 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.

Read more: Trump’s Second Senate Impeachment Trial: Here’s What Could Happen

Trump’s first 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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