Trump Impeachment Trial Begins This Week

The Senate impeachment of the former President Trump will begin this week- what to expect?

The Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump begins Tuesday, and while an acquittal is almost sure as 17 Republicans would have to join all Democrats in the voting for him to be convicted, testimony will be presented in the upper chamber to prove his role in “incitement to insurrection” in the Jan. 6 Capitol breaking in.

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The House voted 232-197 last month, together with 10 Republicans, to impeach Trump for reportedly encouraging an insurrection.

Donald Trump stated that he did not send out any calls for violence during that event. On Jan. 6, during his speech, Trump called on supporters to “peacefully and patriotically” raise their voice and make a statement during the joint session of Congress, when lawmakers assembled to consider electoral votes cast for the presidential candidates.

Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers have openly stated that they are in favor of a speedy trial because the Senate cannot move forward with its legislative priorities until the end of the trial. Many Republicans have condemned the trial as a partisan exercise that leads to a dead end.

In a procedural vote last month, 45 Republican senators gave their vote against holding the trial, arguing that Trump will not be convicted, considering the Senate requires 67 votes for a conviction.

The former president’s lawyers have stated they will argue that the impeachment trial is unconstitutional because Trump no longer holds the position and will say that the First Amendment guarantees and protects his speech.

This trial will be the first of a U.S. president no longer in office.

Trump’s legal defense team is led by attorney David Schoen and Bruce Castor, a former district attorney in Pennsylvania.

On Feb. 6, Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz said that an effective legal defense is established on challenging the constitutionality of the allegations against Trump.

He said:

“The best arguments he can make, and his lawyers will make, are the constitutional ones, namely the Senate has no jurisdiction over a former president, and the speech was covered by the First Amendment.”

At the trial, Trump will not be testifying.

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), the lead House impeachment manager, asked Trump in a Feb. 4 letter to testify in person, after which Trump’s legal team rejected his demand, labeling it as a “public relations stunt.”

Schoen wrote to Raskin:

“There is no such thing as negative inference in this unconstitutional proceeding. Your letter only confirms what is known to everyone: you cannot prove your allegations against the 45th president of the United States, who is now a private citizen.”

The Epoch Times claims that 35 Republican senators have suggested or committed to voting to free Trump of charges. If Democrats can’t sway 17 of the 50 Republicans in the upper chamber, which is almost certain, Trump will be acquitted.

“The trial is already over. They don’t have the votes to convict,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told reporters on Thursday. He continued:

“This is just, I think, continuing to embitter the public. It’s divisive, and it does nothing to promote unity. I think it’s a big mistake on the Democrats’ part.”

In case Trump is convicted, the Senate could hold the following vote to deny him from ever holding office again. With the difference from an impeachment conviction, which requires two-thirds of the Senate to be adopted, only a simple majority would be enough to ban Trump from future office.

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Source: The Guardian 

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