From Zero Hedge:
Watch Live: Second Trump Impeachment Trial Kicks Off In Senate
Former President Trump’s second impeachment trial begins on Tuesday, and is expected to begin at 1 p.m. ET. Up to four hours will be equally divided between the House impeachment managers and Trump’s legal team to present arguments regarding the constitutionality of the trial.
The Senate will then hold a simple majority vote on whether the chamber has jurisdiction to try Trump. If it’s a ‘yes,’ the trial will proceed on Wednesday – where House Managers and Trump’s defense will each have 16 hours over two days to make their arguments.
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The big day has finally arrived: After weeks of lead-up, the first session in Trump’s impeachment trial will feature presentations from both sides over the Senate’s authority to hear the case, followed by a vote on the matter, which would require a simple majority, and is expected to pass in the Democratic-controlled chamber.
As many as five GOP senators, including Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah and Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, previously sided with Democrats on a question regarding the constitutionality of trying the former president, however at least 17 Republicans will need to join all 50 Democrats to reach the 67 votes required to convict Trump.
“Presidents do not get a free pass to commit high crimes and misdemeanors near the end of their term,” impeachment managers argued in a brief last week, regarding their contention that Trump incited the Jan 6. Capitol Riot, during which a small group of Trump supporters walked through an open door and ‘stormed’ the Capitol complex.
On Monday, Trump’s lawyers said the president didn’t incite the crowd and that the rioters who breached the Capitol “did so of their own accord and for their own reasons,” adding that Trump used the word “fight” a “little more than a handful of times and each time in the figurative sense,” making no explicit mention of rioting. Defense attorneys added that the president was exercising his First Amendment rights.
Democratic impeachment managers, acting as prosecutors during the trial, responded in their own five-page brief, saying Trump “has no valid excuse or defense” for his actions. “His efforts to escape accountability are entirely unraveling.”
This is how the trial is expected to unfold, via CNet:
- Feb. 9: There will be four hours of debate equally divided between prosecutors and defense on whether the trial is constitutional, followed by a vote needing a simply majority to proceed
- Feb. 10, 12:00 p.m. ET: House of Representatives will begin arguing its 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, 5:00 p.m. ET: The trial will break through Saturday
- Feb. 14, 2:00 p.m. ET: The trial will reconvene Sunday
- Arguments will be followed by four hours for senators’ questions
- If the House impeachment managers want to call witnesses or subpoena documents, 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
- Once witnesses and evidence is dealt with, there will be four hours of closing arguments divided evenly between the prosecutors and defense
- Lastly will come the vote on conviction or acquittal, for which a two-thirds majority is required
Trump will not testify – having “immediately rejected” the opportunity following a letter from the House’s lead impeachment manager, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) asking the former president to testify under oath. Trump attorney Bruce Castor called the letter a “publicity stunt” before announcing the refusal – which the House will allege “supports a strong adverse inference regarding [his] actions and inaction on January 6.”
In the off-chance Trump is convicted in the Senate, there will be a separate vote to bar him from running again – preventing a potential 2024 bid. It would require a simple majority where Vice President Kamala Harris would serve as a tie-breaker if needed. They can further disqualify Trump from the benefits given to former presidents in the Post Presidents Act – including pulling Trump’s Secret Service security detail, travel allowance and pension.
Impeached presidents also can’t be pardoned, according to CNet, which notes that if acquitted, Trump would have access to all benefits of former US presidents, and would be able to run again for public office.