Republicans raise questions about the constitutionality of the process and signal an uphill battle over Trump’s conviction.
The United States Senate is leading a trial against former President Donald Trump for impeachment for inciting insurrection for his role in his supporters attacking the U.S. Capitol on January 6.
The Senate voted 55-45 against an objection to the case brought by a Republican Senator because the US Constitution does not provide for the impeachment of former presidents.
The vote paves the way for a Senate trial to begin, but it signals that most Republicans are against the trial and suggests that Trump could avoid conviction.
Republican Senator Rand Paul argued that the US Constitution did not authorize the Senate to conduct impeachment proceedings because Trump was now a “private citizen”.
“The theory that the impeachment of a former civil servant is unconstitutional is absolutely wrong,” said Chuck Schumer, Senate majority leader, before the Senate vote.
“It has been fully debunked by constitutional scholars across the political spectrum,” added Schumer.
The Senate passed rules for presenting evidence and arguments during the trial and urged Trump to respond to the impeachment charge.
Trump’s property managers and legal defense team now have until February 8 to file a number of legal papers and documents. The Senate will meet on February 9 for the trial.
Ahead of the mob attack on the Capitol, US President Donald Trump called on his supporters to “fight like hell” a rally to contest Congressional certification of the January 6th 2020 US presidential election results [Jim Bourg/Reuters]”Quieter minds have usually prevailed in our history and allowed public opinion to blame where guilt is deserved,” Paul said in the Senate remarks.
“This impeachment deception will supposedly ask whether the president instigated the reprehensible behavior and violence of January 6th when he said,” I know everyone here will soon be marching to the Capitol to peacefully and patriotically hear your voices to bring, “said Paul. recite a line from Trump’s speech.
“Peaceful and patriotic, these are hardly words of violence,” said Paul.
Senator Rand Paul is followed by reporters as he arrives to be sworn in for the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol in Washington [Jonathan Ernst/Reuters]Parliament charged Trump on January 13 with “inciting insurrection,” making him the first president in US history to be charged twice.
Trump had refused to accept the result of the election of Joe Biden as the next US President in 2020 and gathered his supporters for a rally in Washington on January 6, the day Congress met in a joint session to Confirm Biden’s election victory.
In a speech to the White House, Trump urged the crowd to march on the Capitol, where Congress met.
The former president urged his followers “to fight like hell” to prevent Biden from being confirmed as president. Thousands marched to the Capitol and a crowd of hundreds stormed the building, sending lawmakers into hiding and claiming five deaths.
Senator Patrick Leahy, the senior Democrat temporarily appointed President of the Senate, will lead the process and serve as a juror.
All of the remaining 99 senators were sworn in as a jury, with each going to the Senate Chamber’s fountain to sign their oath of impartiality.
The US House of Representatives presented its impeachment article against Trump to the Senate on Monday evening, a move that officially started the Senate process.
On the way from one side of the US Capitol to the other, nine property managers appointed by Spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi hand-handed the impeachment document to the Senate.
The article blames Trump for the deadly January 6th storm of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, DC by a crowd of his supporters.
Representative Jamie Raskin, a constitutional scholar and one of the property managers, will serve as prosecutor in the Senate trial.
“President Trump repeatedly made false statements claiming that the results of the presidential election were the result of widespread fraud and should not be accepted by the American people or confirmed by state or federal officials,” Raskin told the Senate Monday.
To be convicted, the Senate must obtain a two-thirds majority on the impeachment fee.
In that case, a subsequent vote could discourage Trump from running for public office again in the future.