Washington (AP) – The second impeachment proceedings against former US President Donald Trump will begin in the second week of February. Chuck Schumer, the leader of the Democratic majority in the US Senate, announced this Friday (local time).
Trump’s tenure ended this week, but the trial could mean a life ban on him.
The Democrats want to hold Trump responsible for his supporters’ attack on the Capitol on January 6 and accuse him of “provoking a riot.” Trump has faced impeachment proceedings that ended in an acquittal.
On Monday, the US Senate, in which the trial is being heard, will receive the indictment from the House of Representatives. Subsequently, the so-called impeachment managers, who represent the Lower House as public prosecutor in the proceedings, will read the indictment in the Upper House.
Before Tuesday’s swearing-in of members of the trial, which is similar to a lawsuit, Schumer said. In order to do this, the President of the Supreme Court, John Roberts, must first be sworn in as the head of the impeachment process. He, in turn, must take the oath of the 100 senators who assume the role of jury in the trial and make the final decision.
From then on, prosecutors and lawyers would have time to flesh out their positions, Schumer said. The opening speeches – marking the actual start of the impeachment process – should then begin the week of February 8, as Schumer said. Senate leader Mitch McConnell had originally proposed an even later start.
January 6, with the Trump-initiated uprising in the Capitol, “was a day none of us will ever forget,” Schumer said. Angry Trump supporters broke into the parliament building after an incendiary speech from the Republican. At the time, Congress had gathered there to formally confirm the election victory of the new President Joe Biden. The riots killed five people, including a police officer.
‘We all want to leave this terrible chapter in our nation’s history behind. But there will be healing and unity only when there is truth and accountability, ”said Schumer. The impeachment procedure could take care of that.
The Democrats and Republicans each have 50 seats in the Senate. If there is a stalemate, Vice President Kamala Harris can cast the casting vote for the Democrats. A two-thirds majority is required for a successful impeachment process. So far, it’s unclear whether enough Republicans would vote to condemn Trump.
While the prosecutors and attorneys worked on their impeachment papers, the senate would take care of other important matters, Schumer said. This suits new President Joe Biden, as he depends on Senate approval for the confirmation of his cabinet members and other top personalities.
The vote on Biden’s candidate for leadership of the Treasury, Janet Yellen, is scheduled for Monday afternoon (local time). In addition, Biden wants to quickly release an economic stimulus package of around 1.9 trillion dollars (just under 1.6 trillion euros) through Congress. Biden strongly promotes this.
“We must act decisively and courageously,” demanded Biden on Friday, his third day in office. In view of the corona crisis, it is imperative to stimulate the economy to avoid worse long-term damage, Biden said at the White House. “Our economy will be stronger in both the short and long term.”
Given the extremely low interest rates, the additional new debt from the economic stimulus package is a “smart investment” for the state, the Democrat said. “We must act now,” he stressed. The package proposed by Biden would correspond to nearly ten percent of US economic output (GDP).
The Democrats now control both houses of Congress. In the Senate, however, Biden will also have to rely on the support of individual Republicans for the stimulus package. Earlier statements by moderate Republicans show skepticism – also because Congress only approved an aid package worth about $ 900 billion in late December.
Immediately after the corona pandemic escalated in the United States, Congress had already passed economic stimulus packages worth nearly $ 3 trillion last spring. The US economy continues to suffer greatly from the Corona crisis. The official unemployment rate is 6.7 percent. Before the crisis this was 3.5 percent.