How many previous presidents were lawyers

Impeachment process against Donald Trump is constitutional

In a vote, the 100 US senators determined that the second impeachment trial against Donald Trump is compatible with the constitution. Together with the 50 Senators of the Democrats, six of Trump's Republicans also voted to classify the process as constitutional and continue with it. 44 Republican senators voted against.

The vote was about the question of whether the Senate can try Trump as a former president. This was preceded by a four-hour hearing in which prosecutors and Trump attorneys could express their views.

Senate does not follow Trump attorneys' argument

Trump's lawyers - and numerous Republicans - had argued that the process was unconstitutional: The Senate could only judge incumbent, but not previous presidents. David Schoen, on Trump's defense team, said private individuals could not be removed from office. Common sense suggests that.

Schoen accused the Democrats of only initiating the process to "remove Trump from the political stage". This is an abuse of the impeachment procedure for political purposes. Contrary to what they said, the Democrats are not interested in uniting the country, on the contrary. "This so-called process will tear the country apart," warned Schoen.

Prosecutor Jamie Raskin argued that there was no "January exception," said the Democratic MP, referring to the last month in office of each president.

Democratic MP Jamie Raskin: Charges are based on "cold hard facts"

Presidents must also be able to be held accountable for offenses that they have committed in the last few days of office - and that means that a senate trial can only take place after their term of office. Otherwise, a president could try, for example, with impunity to stay in power after being voted out of office, explained Raskin. He promised the charges were based on "cold hard facts".

Democrats accuse Trump of inciting a riot

Based on the "incitement to riot" charge, the House of Representatives Democrats - supported by ten Republican MPs - have initiated impeachment proceedings against Trump. This procedure is managed and decided in the Senate. The Congress Chamber takes on the role of a court. After the Senate's decision to continue the impeachment proceedings, prosecutors and defense attorneys now have two days from Wednesday to deal with the specific allegations against Trump.

The Democrats accuse Trump of inciting his supporters to storm the Capitol on January 6th. On that day, the victory of President-elect Joe Biden was to be finally confirmed there. Trump had previously called on his supporters to resist in an inflammatory speech and, as he had claimed in the previous weeks, his election victory had been "stolen" through massive fraud.

Shocking recordings at the beginning

The first day of the trial began with shocking footage of the storming of the Capitol about a month ago. Prosecutor Raskin produced a video clip showing the brutality of Trump supporters during the storming. Five people were killed in the riots, including a police officer. Also presented were statements by Trump on January 6th - including his call to his supporters to "fight the devil".

"Because of this, the House of Representatives initiated impeachment proceedings against the president on January 13," said Raskin after the almost fifteen-minute video. "If this is not a crime that deserves impeachment, then nothing."

Conviction unlikely

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

Only six Republican Senators voted with the Democrats to continue the impeachment process

Trump is the first president in US history to have two impeachment proceedings initiated. Trump is also the first former head of state in the United States to face an impeachment process after leaving office. The 74-year-old resigned from office on January 20 when Biden was sworn in and now lives in his private club Mar-a-Lago in the state of Florida. He rejected a statement in the impeachment proceedings.

ww / wa (afp, dpa, rtr)