Donald Trump: Expert discusses new impeachment trial lawyers
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Donald Trump is the first former US president to stand trial for impeachment and is the only US president in history to be impeached twice. The second impeachment trial of Mr Trump began around a month after he was charged by the House of Representatives with incitement of insurrection in his role in inflaming a violent mob which stormed the US Capitol building on January 6.
Donald Trump’s presidency ended on January 20, with his successor Joe Biden being sworn in as the 46th President of the United States at midday.
The inauguration took place two weeks after a violent mob stormed the US Capitol building where lawmakers were in the process of confirming Mr Biden’s November election win.
The Capitol attack took place hours after Mr Trump delivered a fiery Save America speech, within which he called on his followers to continue to protest and he refused to concede.
On January 11, the House of Representatives introduced an Article of Impeachment for “incitement of insurrection”.
The impeachment article was voted through with 232 votes in support, with 197 against.
Mr Trump’s lawyers filed a 78-page memorandum on Monday.
The memorandum document saw the lawyers call the impeachment case “political theatres” and set out guidelines for a swift trial.
Today, February 9, House prosecutors and Mr Trump’s defence team will argue if the trial is constitutional and should proceed.
The trial will officially begin at 1pm ET (6pm GMT) on Tuesday.
During the proceedings, Mr Trump’s lawyers and the Democratic impeachment managers will be given two hours to debate if the trial is constitutional.
The main argument about the trial’s validity concerns, if it is constitutional given Mr Trump, is no longer a sitting president.
After this debate has been concluded, the Senate will hold a vote to decide if it has the power to try a former president for impeachment.
A majority decision on this question is needed.
If this vote passes, as it is expected to, the trial will start for real on Wednesday, at 12pm ET (5pm GMT).
At that time the prosecution will have 16 hours to make their case over two days and the defence team will then have 16 hours to make its case afterwards, likely beginning on February 12.
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Donald Trump’s lawyers and the Democratic opposition are expected to have concluded their arguments by Monday, February 15.
From next Monday, each side will have four hours each to answer questions from Senators.
Both sides are expected to deliver their closing statements on next Tuesday, February 16.
By February 17, the Senate should be in a position to vote on the article of impeachment – for which a two-thirds majority is needed for a conviction.
This means at least 17 Republican senators would need to vote with Senate Democrats to convict.
Only five Republicans in the Senate voted with the Democrats last month.
How to watch Donald Trump’s impeachment trial live
You are able to watch a live stream of the trial for free using the CNN website here.
The live stream will begin at 5pm GMT and finish at midnight.
Intermittent coverage and highlights will also be broadcast on BBC News and Sky News.
What will happen next?
The Senate will soon vote to convict or not to convict Mr Trump.
The former president will be found guilty of “inciting violence against the Government of the United States” is the Senate votes to convict.
Senators could then vote on whether to bar him from holding future office and that vote would only require a simple majority, and if it came down to party lines, Democrats would prevail with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote.
If the Senate does not convict Mr Trump, he will likely be able to run for public office again in the future.
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