A delegation of House members handed over an article of impeachment against Donald Trump in the US Senate this evening, a ceremony that triggers a trial process for the charges that the former president instigated the Jan.6 attack on the Capitol.
News networks and some of the broadcasters carried the march to the Senate Chamber, led by Acting Sergeant-at-Arms Tim Blodgett and House Clerk Cheryl Johnson. Following them, the main impeachment official, Representative Jamie Raskin (D-MD), who, along with other managers, will be tasked with pursuing the case against Trump. A trial is scheduled to begin the week of February 8.
Raskin read the accusation against Trump, for instigating insurgency on Capitol Hill. Pro-Trump rioters moved past police barricades and stormed the compound as lawmakers gathered to certify the electoral votes in favor of Joe Biden. Raskin quoted Trump’s statement at a pre-riot rally in which he said, “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.” Five people died in the attack.
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Just over a year ago, Trump faced further impeachment charges for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. He was acquitted.
On January 13, Trump became the first president to be impeached twice. He will also be the first to stand trial after leaving office. Raskin has made it clear that if convicted, the House seeks to prevent Trump from running for a future term.
It will take 2/3 of the Senate to condemn Trump, or 17 Republicans join the 50 Democrats and Independents. If that happens, it would take a simple majority to ban Trump from returning to office.
The trial will be different from last year as Chief Justice John Roberts will not be presiding. Instead, Senator Patrick Leahy, as Interim Speaker of the Senate, will sit in this chair.
The House voted 232-197 to impeach Trump, with 10 Republicans joining all Democrats in favor.