The Second Impeachment Trial Of Donald Trump: A Preview – .
We have now been a little over two weeks without hearing from Donald Trump: Banned from Twitter, absent from Fox & Friends Call Ins, the former president was unusually reserved on his property in Mar-A-Lago, Florida.
That’ll change on Tuesday when he’s back in the center of the media spotlight, even if he’s not there live and in person.
For the fourth time in American history, the Senate will initiate impeachment proceedings against a president – and it will be a first for a former commander in chief.
Broadcasting networks schedule special reports, while cable and streaming networks provide full feeds of the process.
It has been a little over a year since Trump was acquitted in the Senate for his first impeachment, and there’s every expectation that will be the same verdict again.
The trial itself has the makings of a whole different kind of drama, largely because the senators who will serve as jurors witnessed the January 6 siege of the Capitol that sparked the latest action against Trump. There is a possibility of a process of examining what led to that day and what happened. Much has been said, however, that the Democrats will make this a speedy process, perhaps without even calling other witnesses.
Here is an explanation and what to expect in the coming days:
What is impeachment? Impeachment is the process of dismissing a president who violates his oath of office by committing “serious crimes and misdemeanors”. This phrase was intentionally left vague, but scholars have long argued that impeachment is not limited to actual crimes, but rather to violations of the oath of office such as abuse of power.
The House of Representatives has the power of impeachment – which essentially acts as an indictment against a president. If a President is indicted by a simple majority in the House, the articles are passed to the Senate. If 2/3 of the Senate votes in favor of convicting the president, the president is removed from office.
So far, a president has only been charged four times – Andrew Johnson in 1868, Bill Clinton in 1998, and Donald Trump in 2019 and 2021. None have been removed from office. Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 before the entire House voted on impeachment.
What is Trump’s charge? On January 13, Trump became the first president to be charged twice. The house acted quickly and was charged with instigating the Capitol riot a week earlier. Trump’s misdeeds are bigger than what he said at a pre-siege rally, according to the House’s impeachment report. They also cited Trump’s attempts to reverse the 2020 presidential election result, including pressuring a senior Georgia state official to discard results that benefited Joe Biden. According to a recording of a phone call, Trump went so far as to say that Georgian Foreign Secretary Brad Raffensberger “should find him votes”.
Why bother? What makes this process so unusual is that Trump is no longer president and therefore cannot be removed from office. On January 26th, 45 Republicans voted for a resolution declaring the process unconstitutional for precisely that reason.
Even outside of office, Trump is banned from applying for office. The Constitution states that the penalty for convicting the Senate shall be “no more than dismissal and disqualification from holding and enjoying an office of honor, confidence, or gain among the United States.” Democrats made it clear in their impeachment proceedings that they wanted to expel Trump from the presidency again.
Who presides ?: The constitution says that the chief judge should lead the impeachment process, but this time it won’t. The reason? Trump is no longer president, so the process continues like any of the other elected officials and judges. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the President of the Senate, will chair.
Who will be in front and in the middle ?: Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) is the chief impeachment manager who takes on the role of attorney general, but half a dozen more are on the Democrats’ team: Diana DeGette, David Cicilline, Joaquin Castro, Eric Swalwell and Ted Lieu, Stacey Plaskett, Madeleine Dean and Joe Neguse.
Trump’s team will be completely different from those who defended him last year. His lawyers are Bruce Castor and David Schoen. Castor previously served as the Pennsylvania District Attorney and during his tenure declined to prosecute Bill Cosby for allegations that he drugged and sexually assaulted a woman in his home. Years later, one of Castor’s successors did, and Cosby was eventually convicted. Nice was in the team that represented Roger Stone, who was eventually pardoned by Trump.
What will they argue ?: The impeachment managers are likely to produce a very vivid report of what happened on January 6th, typing in Trump’s key phrases that day, including when he told the crowd to hike to the Capitol and “if you don’t how to fight the hell you will have no more land. “They will also argue that the 14th Amendment prohibits any person who has” committed “uprisings or insurrections” against the US from holding office. Expect plenty of videos from the January 6 events, including emotional appeals, to remind Senate Republicans why it is important to hold the former president accountable.
Trump’s team has since argued that at his pre-siege rally, Trump was simply exercising his constitutional rights under the First Amendment based on his belief that his election was stolen. They also plan to argue that the process is unconstitutional. “We’re trying to win a case on a number of procedural complaints,” Castor told Reuters last week.
The defense of freedom of speech argument has been pushed aside by a number of First Amendment attorneys who say it is legally in doubt.
Are witnesses called ?: That is the great unknown. Are Capitol Cops Called? Or the one in the White House? Or will there even be witnesses?
Last year, Republicans turned down efforts to call witnesses to Trump’s first impeachment trial over strong Democratic opposition. A potential key figure, John Bolton, had said he would appear if summoned.
This time around, the Democrats are in control of the Senate and supposedly have the votes to call witnesses, but in the interests of time they are not allowed to do so. The party is under pressure to move quickly through the process so as not to delay the passage of Covid-19 aid and other Biden priorities. Biden himself has already expressed doubts that there will be votes to condemn Trump.
Trump himself has refused a request that he himself appear at the trial.
However, according to Tim Naftali, Associate Clinical Professor of Civil Service at New York University and historian for the CNN President, it would be a big missed opportunity to rush through a study. Co-author of Impeachment: An American History, Naftali, wrote in a comment: “Democrats need to work across the aisle and reach the 10 Republicans in the House who voted against Trump for the second time and the five Senators who voted for the continuation of the process. Together, they could coordinate a strategy to introduce witnesses and weaken Trumpism, regardless of the outcome of the trial. “There is also an opportunity to obtain documentary evidence as Trump cannot stonewall as he did when he was first impeached. His executive privilege now extends only to the President’s records and no longer to federal authorities.
In an interview, Naftali said a trial, particularly with all coverage, represents a potential “missed opportunity for public education and opens up an opportunity for Donald Trump to do unjustified victory dance”.
“If Nancy Pelosi and Senator Schumer have decided that this process must go wrong but should be short, they should prepare an investigation around January 6,” Naftali said in an interview. “You shouldn’t lose your momentum.”
When will the Senate meet ?: The process begins on Tuesday at 1 p.m. (CET), but the Senate must set rules for the process, e.g. B. How much time each side has to argue and how long senators have to ask questions. In previous impeachment proceedings, all senators were required to be present, attentive, and calm throughout the entire process.
Who to look out for: Mitch McConnell, the leader of the Senate minority, has made statements indicating that he believes Trump was responsible for the siege of the Capitol. If he voted yes to a conviction it would be a big deal and it could mean others would join him. But McConnell already voted in favor of the decision to make the trial unconstitutional, which would give him trial even if he believes Trump committed criminal acts.
Susan Collins, Ben Sasse, Patrick Toomey, Lisa Murkowski, and Mitt Romney voted against the resolution, and they are considered the most likely Republican votes for conviction. That would still fall far short of conviction.