It is a special day for American senators. This Tuesday opens, in the upper house, the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump for “incitement to insurgency”. He is accused of having encouraged protesters to enter the Capitol while elected officials certified the victory of Democrat Joe Biden on January 6. The attack left five people dead.
Two lawyers for Donald Trump
Several personalities will have a key role in this procedure, starting with the two lawyers of the real estate magnate. David Schoen and Bruce Castor only took up this issue at the beginning of February, since Donald Trump separated from his first team due to a disagreement on defense strategy, according to CNN.
David Schoen, 62, is a civil rights and criminal defense lawyer based in Alabama. During his career, he was brought to represent the Ku Klux Klan but also many personalities, in particular in cases of rape, murders or in connection with the Mafia. He also stood out by ensuring that he did not believe in the fact that Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide, despite the conclusions of the forensic pathologist, recalls the New York Times.
His closeness to Donald Trump stems in particular from the fact that he criticized, on television, Andrew Weissmann, who worked on the investigation into the suspicions of Russian interference during the 2016 presidential campaign. of Roger J. Stone Jr, a friend of Donald Trump, before the outgoing president used his powers to grant him clemency.
VIDEO. Trump judges the procedure” impeachment “ aiming it ” totally ridiculous “
Bruce Castor, 59, is a former district attorney. He was once general counsel for Pennsylvania before becoming a criminal lawyer. Among his most notorious feats of arms, he refused to prosecute actor Bill Cosby in a rape case. After failing to be re-elected prosecutor, he was called as a witness to justify his decision when the Bill Cosby case was taken over by his successor. He then assured that his choice was motivated by the fact that the actor had not confessed to the facts and that the alleged victim would have “discredited”, traces the New York Times. In 2018, Bill Cosby was finally convicted in this case.
If he now finds himself defending the outgoing president, it is because his own cousin is one of the lawyers of the Republican clan who was involved in the defense of Donald Trump during the first impeachment procedure.
READ ALSO> After the assault on Capitol Hill, what risks Donald Trump?
Nine Democratic prosecutors
On the side of the accusation, the protagonists are much more numerous. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, chose nine elected Democrats to fill the role of prosecutor. All are lawyers and experts in constitutional or civil law. They come from all over the country and represent different orientations of the Democratic Party.
Jamie Raskin, 58-year-old former professor of constitutional law will lead this team of prosecutors. He was already involved in Trump’s first impeachment trial as a member of the Congressional Judiciary Committee, recalls CNN.
Jamie Raskin is currently in the midst of personal drama. Her 25-year-old son committed suicide on New Years Eve. Despite everything, he refused to leave his place, especially since the impeachment trial of Donald Trump has almost become a personal matter: the day after his son’s funeral, on January 6, he asked his 23-year-old daughter and her eldest husband to accompany her to the Capitol to witness the confirmation of Joe Biden’s victory. They were therefore present at the time of the attack which left five dead. Jamie Raskin’s family had to go into hiding to escape the protesters who entered the building. It took an hour for the chosen one to find his family safe and sound, specifies CNN. What to add trauma to the drama. And a personal touch to the case.
A president also a senator
The other name to remember is that of Patrick Leahy. He is the “pro tempore” president in the Senate, that is, when Vice President Kamala Harris is absent. A role which belongs to the senator of the oldest majority. Now 80, Patrick Leahy was first elected at 34. This former prosecutor is also known to be a huge fan of Batman, to the point of having made five appearances in films featuring the hero.
In a presidential impeachment trial, the role of president normally falls to the chief magistrate of the Supreme Court. But since Donald Trump is no longer in activity, this role falls to the president “pro tempore” of the Senate, Patrick Leahy, therefore. As stated by CNN, he should however resume his role of classic senator to vote, especially when deciding on the guilt of Donald Trump.
Two other men have already played a role in this trial before the Senate: Chuck Schumerle, leader of the Democratic senators, now in the majority, and Mitch McConnell, his Republican counterpart. Together, they agreed on the format of the trial and the length of the proceedings.
The first, which has just passed in the majority by a very short head – the Republican and Democratic senators are tied, but in this case it is for the vice-president to decide – tries to work in good understanding with the leader leader of the opposition, specifies theAFP.
Mitch McConnell spent more than 35 years in the Senate. If he first collaborated with Donald Trump, the past few weeks have been more tense between the two men. The leader of the Republican senators frankly distanced himself from the former president when he began to deny his defeat. The events of the Capitol finished consuming this rupture. As for the wife of Mitch McConnell, who had been Minister of Transport since the start of Trump’s mandate, she resigned on January 7, specifies theAFP.
On the other hand, this trial will have a large absentee, Donald Trump himself, who refused to testify in front of the Senate, in particular because he considers that this procedure is not constitutional, since he is no longer in activity. It is on this subject that the first debates should be concentrated.
Original article by : www.leparisien.fr