Trump impeachment

The second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump will run by means of the weekend.


James Martin/CNET

The second day of former President Donald Trump’s Senate impeachment trial has come to an finish, with prosecutors counting on movies containing what Rep. Jamie Raskin referred to as “graphic and disturbing violence.” Late Wednesday, the House impeachment managers checked out what Trump was doing throughout the Jan. 6 riot at the US Capitol, which left 5 individuals lifeless, together with a Capitol Police officer. Raskin and others argued Trump continued to stoke the violence and “did nothing to protect us” as rioters streamed into the Capitol the place a joint session of Congress was confirming President Joe Biden’s election win.

The impeachment managers, who function the trial’s prosecution, contrasted the disturbing footage of the violence at the Capitol (watch right here) with Trump’s actions at these instances.

“President Trump had the power to stop these attacks,” Rep. David Cicilline mentioned. “He could have commanded them to leave, but he didn’t.”

Watch: Trump impeachment trial stream: Day 2 arguments

Instead, Trump tweeted a spotlight reel from his rally speech that morning amid the violence of the Capitol being broadcast on worldwide TV whereas “his own vice president was under violent attack.” Trump then referred to as the rioters “great patriots” in a later tweet. Earlier on Wednesday, Twitter confirmed it completely banned Trump from the platform, even when he had been to be acquitted and run once more for president.

Trapped members of Congress had been phoning the White House, pleading for Trump to do one thing to cease the violence, the House impeachment managers mentioned. There’s no indication Trump ever deployed the National Guard. “He left everyone in this Capitol for dead,” Rep. Joaquin Castro mentioned.

Three and a half hours into the assault on the Capitol, Trump additionally launched a video saying “you’re very special” and “we love you” to the rioters, whereas repeating the lie that the election was stolen. “This was a message of consolation, of support, of praise,” Castro mentioned. “Not condemnation.”

Relying on never-before-released footage, radio dispatches between Capitol police, first-hand accounts, posts on social media and affidavits, the House impeachment trial managers additionally argued former Vice President Mike Pence was the major target of the insurrection after he refused to overturn the election outcomes.

Pence wasn’t evacuated till round 2:26 p.m. ET the day of the insurrection, Rep. Stacey Plaskett revealed. Rioters got here very shut to discovering Pence — who was sheltering in the constructing along with his household — as insurrectionists “broke into the Capitol to hunt them down.”

The trial has been adjourned till 12 p.m. ET Thursday.

Keep studying for every part you want to find out about the new video proven, most essential moments in the trial to this point, Trump legal professionals’ protection technique and the up to date schedule for the relaxation of the trial. We’ll proceed to replace this story as the trial continues. 

Trump impeachment

All eyes are on former President Trump’s historic impeachment trial this week.


James Martin/CNET

Biggest moments to this point in Trump’s impeachment trial

House impeachment managers, who function prosecutors in the Senate trial, started presenting their case that the former president incited the rioters to violence on Jan. 6. Here is a few of the proof offered to this point.

Previously unreleased video footage exhibiting the assault on the Capitol, together with safety footage in addition to mocked-up fashions exhibiting the place rioters had been in relation to senators.

Video clips and tweets from Trump to argue that in the weeks main up to the Jan. 6 riot, Trump repeatedly referred to as on his supporters to storm the Capitol. Video clips included Trump supporters repeating Trump’s false claims about the election and that the solely method Trump might lose was if the election was stolen. Trump intentionally used false claims about election fraud, the House managers claimed, to “trigger an angry base to ‘fight like hell‘ to overturn a legitimate election. 

Audio recordings of Trump pressuring state officials to overturn election results that had certified Biden’s win, and audio of dispatches between Capitol police during the insurrection.

An emotional presentation detailed the managers’ claim that Trump attempted to pressure Pence and members of Congress to overturn the results on Jan. 6, the day of the election certification. (The election results were certified by Pence.)

Trump’s actions during the insurrection, including a survey of the former president’s tweets and videos on Jan. 6.

Graphic videos are a major part of the prosecution

So far, the case against Trump has been built around a mix of widely available and never-before-released video footage, audio and tweets to suggest a pattern of behavior that culminated in the insurrection, framing both as an assault on democracy.

The trial began with Raskin’s emotional presentation of a disturbing video timeline of the assault on the Capitol, using footage captured around and inside the Capitol building on Jan. 6. The graphic riot video included attacks on police and the deadly capturing of Ashli Babbitt. Raskin, in his opening remarks, spoke of the loss of life of his son Tommy days earlier than the assault, which he described as “the saddest day of our lives,” as well as the emotional effects the Capitol attack had on his family, who were with him during the riot.

The new trial schedule suggests a vote in sight

Trump’s impeachment trial was originally going to pause from Friday at 5 p.m. ET until Sunday morning, if a vote didn’t occur by then. On Wednesday, Trump’s defense reportedly withdrew the request, signaling that the trial could extend through Saturday and Sunday, in accordance to The Hill.

This is how the trial will unfold (and right here is where to watch on Day 3):

  • Feb. 11, 12 p.m. ET: The House managers will finish arguing their case; prosecutors and defense will have up to 16 hours each to present their arguments, with neither side permitted to present for more than eight hours per day.
  • Feb. 12 and 13: The defense will make their presentation.
  • Feb. 14, 2 p.m. ET: Senators’ questions.
  • Next week: Closing arguments — two hours for each side — and the vote on conviction or acquittal, for which a two-thirds majority is required.

If the House impeachment managers want to call witnesses or subpoena documents prior to their closing arguments, there will be two hours of debate by each side followed by a Senate vote on whether to allow this. If witnesses are called, there will be enough time given to depose them, and for each party to complete discovery before testimony is given.

Trump lawyers’ defense rests on two things 

On Day 1, Trump’s legal team took the stand, relying on a more dispassionate analysis of the Constitution to suggest that the impeachment trial is without merit. The defense is widely expected to counter the prosecution’s emotional arguments with the opposite approach.

“Presidents are impeachable. Presidents are detachable. Former presidents are usually not as a result of they cannot be eliminated,” Trump legal professional David Shoen mentioned. “The Constitution is obvious. Trial by the Senate is reserved for the president of the United States, not a non-public citizen or used-to-be president.”

Raskin countered: “The Constitution makes clear there isn’t a January exception to the impeachment energy, {that a} president cannot commit grave offenses in their ultimate days and escape any congressional response.”

In addition to arguing that the trial is unconstitutional, Trump’s lawyers are also expected to argue that Trump exercised his right to free speech, and that the Capitol Hill rioters acted on their own.

Read more: The 14th Amendment is a cornerstone of Trump’s impeachment on Day 2

The senator presiding over Trump’s impeachment trial is a juror, too

The US Constitution lays out clear guidelines for impeaching a sitting president: The Supreme Court chief justice should preside. Trump’s trial is an unusual case, however, since he is now a private citizen as of Jan. 20.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, the new Senate president pro tempore, is presiding. As a senator he is also still expected to be able to vote in the trial. He is also a witness to the Capitol riot. The House is prosecuting the case, and the Senate sits as jury and will ultimately vote to convict or acquit. 

To convict Trump, 67 senators — or two-thirds of the Senate — must vote in favor. Following Biden’s inauguration, the Senate is now made up of 48 Democrats, two independents who caucus with Democrats and 50 Republicans, for an even 50-50 split.

6th Republican Senator joined Democrats in test vote

Following the arguments from the two sides, the Senate voted on whether it is constitutional to try a former president. A total of 56 senators voted in favor and 44 against — meaning six Republican senators voted to continue the trial along with the 48 Democrats and two independents. 

“It was disorganized, random,” Sen. Bill Cassidy, a Republican from Louisiana, mentioned following the proceedings. “[Trump’s lawyers] talked about many issues however did not discuss about the subject at hand … Is it constitutional to impeach a president who’s left workplace? And the House managers made a compelling, cogent case, and the president’s staff didn’t.”

To convict Trump, 17 Republican senators would need to vote in favor, along with the 48 Democrats and two independents, to reach the two-thirds supermajority.

A previous motion on Jan. 27 to declare the trial unconstitutional saw just five Republicans vote with Senate Democrats. On Monday, Republican Sens. Mitt Romney, Ben Sasse, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and Pat Toomey were this time joined by Cassidy in voting in favor.

Here’s what happens if the Senate either convicts or acquits Trump

If the former president is convicted in the Senate, there will probably be an extra vote to bar him from working once more (per the US Constitution Article 1, Section 3), which might preclude a doable presidential run in 2024. This vote would require solely a easy majority, the place Vice President Kamala Harris serving as president of the Senate would solid a tie-breaking vote, if required.

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Brett Pearce/CNET

Trump may be disqualified from the advantages given to former presidents by the Post Presidents Act, together with a Secret Service safety element, pension and yearly journey allowance.

According to the US Constitution, impeached presidents additionally cannot be pardoned.

If acquitted, Trump would have entry to all the advantages of a former US president, together with the choice to run for public workplace.

More background: Trump’s second Senate impeachment trial: Here’s what might occur

Trump’s impeachment in 2019

Trump was impeached in December 2019 by the House, however the Republican-majority Senate acquitted him at the starting of 2020.

His first impeachment concerned articles accusing Trump of abusing energy and obstructing Congress. The subject was Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, together with a July 2019 cellphone name wherein he appeared to be utilizing US navy help as a bargaining chip to stress Ukraine into investigating alleged ties between his political opponent Biden, Biden’s son Hunter and a Ukrainian fuel firm. The articles additionally charged Trump with interfering with a House inquiry into the Ukraine matter.

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