January 26th, 2021
Donald Trump’s Second Impeachment Trial about to Begin
The January 2021 impeachment trial is only the fourth impeachment trial against a President in US history but the third in a little over 20 years, and second in the past 2 years (after the impeachments of Andrew Johnson in 1868, Bill Clinton in 1999, and Donald Trump’s first in 2019).
Former US President Donald Trump “is impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors... Article One, Incitement of Insurrection”, as per the single charge read on Monday, January 25, 2021, by Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, lead House manager in the Senate impeachment trial.The Democrats have compiled evidence of Trump repeatedly using angry and heated speech and spreading false information in hopes of having his supporters press back against a “stolen” election. They are trying to show a correlation between his words and the actions of his supporters.
Many of the Republican Senators, who are unlikely to vote in favor of Trump’s conviction did not show up for the ceremony marking the start of the trial.The trial itself is scheduled to begin on February 9, 2021.
On Tuesday, January 26, 2021, Senators will be sworn in as jurors in the impeachment trial against former President Donald Trump.Some Republicans tried to remove House trial lawyer Rep. Eric Swalwell for his scandalous relationship with a Chinese spy named Christine Fang or Fang Fang. Nancy Pelsoi ignored these concerns and not only chose to keep Swalwell as one of the case lawyers for the impeachment prosecution team but interestingly chose to keep him on the House Intelligence Oversight committee.
Several Republican Senators, such as Mitt Romney of Utah, have hinted that they may vote to convict Trump; nonetheless, it seems unlikely that 17 GOP will do so, which is the number needed for a two-thirds majority required to convict Trump and ban him from future federal office.This didn't surprise many as Romney is a known "RINO" among Republicans.
Trump’s second impeachment is unique in that his term as President of the United States expired (on January 20, 2021) before the holding of the trial.However, he was still President on January 13, 2021, when the House of Representatives voted in favor of his impeachment.Many still feel a trial is appropriate despite Trump now being a private citizen, using the example of how a fired business executive would still be held accountable if he stole millions before his expulsion. Many see the impeachment trial as a way to both punish Trump and to send a message to future leaders.
As per the US Constitution, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court presides over an impeachment trial of an acting President.As Donald Trump is no longer President, Chief Justice John Roberts himself refused to preside over the trial.Instead, Senator Patrick Leahy, the president pro tempore of the chamber, the longest serving Democrat in the Senate, will oversee the proceedings for the trial.The has resulted in many calling the process unfair and impartial right out of the gate, with obvious conflicts of interest.
Republicans have opposed even holding the impeachment trial of Donald Trump arguing it would exacerbate the political tensions.However, recent polling has shown that a majority of Americans support the impeachment of Trump and barring him from ever holding office again. Florida Senator Marco Rubio has described it as “stupid” and as “pouring gasoline on a fire".
Democrats insist Trump’s impeachment trial is well-warranted.Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley has insisted that “there is no more serious crime than incitement of insurrection” and that holding the trial “is a moral responsibility”.However some analysts and former politicians have said the move to expedite the impeachment and "removal" process is an effort by the Democrats to ensure Trump can't run again in 2024.While there are many Democrats who certainly do not want Trump to run again in 2024, there is a growing number of Republicans who want the same thing. Reports are now saying that even Mitch McConnell has privately said he wants Trump convicted and not able to run again in four years.
Newly inaugurated President Joe Biden has stated that Trump’s second impeachment trial “has to happen” but has predicted that there will not be enough Republican votes in the Senate to convict his predecessor.Biden had promised to heal the nation in earlier speeches and during his inauguration. By going after a President that has already left office some have asked of this only serves to further divide the country between the 74 million who voted for Trump and the 81 million who voted for biden, which is about a 5% "mandate".
Paradoxically, the Senators in Trump's trial are also witnesses because they were inside the Capitol when it was stormed by Trump supporters on January 6, 2021.Respectively, the Senate hall that is the courtroom is also part of the “crime scene” of the storming.