December 11, 2023

America's impeachment trial is currently constitutional |  DW

America’s impeachment trial is currently constitutional | DW

In a vote, the 100 senators decided that the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump was in compliance with the constitution. Along with 50 Democratic senators, six Trump Republicans voted to designate the process as constitutional and to continue it. 44 Republican senators voted against it.

The vote was over the question of whether the Senate could try Trump as a former president. This was preceded by a four-hour hearing in which prosecutors and Trump’s lawyers were able to express their views.

The Senate is not following Trump’s lawyer

Trump’s attorneys – and many Republicans – have argued that the process is unconstitutional: Only the Senate can rule incumbent presidents, but not past presidents. David Schwen of Trump’s defense team said individuals cannot be removed from their posts. A healthy person can do this
Close common sense.

Schoen accused the Democrats of having only begun the process “to get Trump off the political stage.” This is the abuse of impeachment procedures for political purposes. Contrary to what they said, the Democrats are not interested in unifying the country, on the contrary. Schwen warned that “this alleged operation will tear the country apart.”

Democratic Representative Jimmy Ruskin said Attorney General Jimmy Ruskin had “no exception for the month of January,” referring to last month in every president’s office.

Democratic Representative Jimmy Ruskin: The accusations are based on “hard facts”

Presidents must also be able to be held accountable for the crimes they committed in the last few days of office – this means that a Senate trial can only take place after their term. Otherwise, the president could try, for example, with impunity, to remain in power by force after a vote to leave office, Raskin explained. He promised that the charges are based on “hard facts.”

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Democrats accuse Trump of inciting riots

Democrats accuse Trump of “incitement to riot” and initiate impeachment proceedings against him in the House of Representatives – backed by ten Republicans. This procedure is administered and decided in the Senate. The Congress chamber takes on the role of the court. After the Senate decision to continue impeachment proceedings, prosecutors and defense attorneys have two days from Wednesday to deal with the specific allegations against Trump.

Democrats accuse Trump of inciting his supporters to storm the Capitol on January 6. On that day, President-elect Joe Biden was finally due to confirm victory there. Trump had earlier called on his supporters to march to the Capitol in a fiery speech, and as in previous weeks, he claimed that his election victory was “stolen” through widespread fraud.

Shocking recordings at first

The first day of the trial began with horrific footage of the storming of the Capitol about a month ago. Attorney General Raskin produced a video showing the brutality of Trump supporters during the storming operation. Five people were killed in the riots, including a police officer. Trump’s comments were also shown on January 6 – including his call for his supporters to “fight Satan.”

“For this reason, the House of Representatives began impeachment proceedings against the president on January 13th,” Raskin said after the video, which lasted nearly a quarter of an hour. If this isn’t an accountable crime, then nothing.

Conviction unlikely

If Trump is convicted, the Senate could expel him from public office in the future. However, a guilty verdict is almost impossible: a two-thirds majority would be necessary in the Congress hall. Since the Democrats and Republicans have 50 senators, at least 17 Republicans will have to vote with the Democrats. The vote on the constitutionality of the measure made it clear that this was extremely unlikely.

Trump is the first president in US history to initiate two impeachment measures. Trump is also the first former head of state in the United States to face impeachment after leaving office. The 74-year-old resigned from his position on January 20 when Biden was sworn in and now lives at his private club, Mar-a-Lago, in Florida. He refused a statement regarding the dismissal procedures.

ww / wa (afp, dpa, rtr)