Washington (AP) – The US Senate has read the charges for the second impeachment lawsuit against former President Donald Trump.
Word for word, the leading Democratic prosecutor in the US House of Representatives, Jamie Raskin, presented the resolution holding Trump personally responsible for his supporters’ attack on the US Capitol on Jan. 6. Before the talk, the so-called impeachment managers around Raskin had filed charges with the charge of “inciting uproar” in a procession from one conference room to another in the Capitol.
Democrat Joe Biden replaced Trump as president last Wednesday. However, Trump could be suspended for life at the federal level if convicted by the Senate. That would undo all of Trump’s plans to run for office again in 2024. From a democratic perspective, the events of January 6 showed that Trump poses a threat to national security, democracy and the constitution, as stated in the indictment.
Before the impeachment proceedings actually begin in the second week of February, the chair of the proceedings will be sworn in on Tuesday, who will in turn take the oath of the 100 senators. The senators assume the role of jury in the process and make the final decision.
US media reported unanimously that the senior senator, Democrat Patrick Leahy, is expected to lead the trial – not Supreme Court chairman John Roberts. Under the Rules of Procedure, the President of the Supreme Court is conducting impeachment proceedings against the US President in the Senate. The broadcaster CNN reported on Monday that since Trump is no longer president, Leahy is expected to become a senator.
The reading of the indictment, the swearing-in of the chairman and senators, and the initial statements of the defendant and the prosecutor are part of preparations for the trial, according to the US Congress Research Service (CRS). The actual start of the proceedings is characterized by the opening speech of the Lower House, followed by that of the defense.
Angry Trump supporters forcibly entered the Capitol in early January after Trump delivered an inflammatory speech not far from the White House. At the time, Congress had gathered in the Capitol to formally confirm Biden’s election victory. The riots killed five people, including a police officer.
A two-thirds majority of the senators present would be required to condemn Trump. The Republicans and Democrats of the new President Biden each have 50 seats in the Senate. So 17 Republicans should also stand up to Trump. It is doubtful whether this will happen. In the event of a conviction, a simple majority on a second vote would be enough to impose the ban on Trump requested by the Democrats.
Trump has faced impeachment proceedings that ended in the Senate acquittal last February. At the time, his Republicans still controlled the room.
Biden, who has been largely unobtrusive about the impeachment process against his predecessor, told CNN he did not believe 17 Republicans would vote to condemn Trump. But he spoke out for the proceedings. “I think it has to be done.”
Prosecutors and lawyers now have two weeks to work on their impeachment documents. Written arguments from the House of Representatives and Trump’s attorneys must be filed Feb. 8. The actual impeachment process in the Senate would then begin on February 9. Democrats and Republicans in the US Senate agreed Friday on the second week of February as the date for the start of negotiations.
The Senate wants to regulate other matters until the actual start of the procedure. This is convenient for Biden, as he is dependent on Senate approval for the confirmation of his nominee cabinet members and other top personalities. On Monday, Janet Yellen was confirmed as the country’s prime finance minister, but the majority of Biden’s candidates are still waiting for the chamber’s green light.