Donald Trump may have lived in Florida since he was no longer president, his name continues to haunt Washington. After being indicted by the House of Representatives on January 13, he is tried this Tuesday in the Senate for “incitement to insurrection” during the assault on the Capitol on January 6.
This impeachment trial is historic for two reasons. This is the first time that an American president has suffered this affront twice. The Republican had already been tried and acquitted in the Senate, in early 2020, after his “impeachment” in the Ukrainian affair. It is also the first time that such a trial has been organized after its mandate has ended. There can therefore no longer technically be any dismissal in the event of conviction.
VIDEO. United States: pro-Trump protesters take over Capitol Hill
Donald Trump’s lawyers, Bruce Castor Jr and David Schoen, also intend to play on this argument. According to them, it is unconstitutional for the Senate to try a president who is no longer in office. Many Republican senators, very uncomfortable at the idea of defending Donald Trump on the merits, also seem to rally to this idea.
However, the constitutional law experts on whom the Democrats rely seem to think the opposite and cite previous impeachment lawsuits brought against less central figures, such as judges. Democrats, led by elected Jamie Raskin who will serve as chief prosecutor, know that impeachment is no longer on the agenda. But they hope, if convicted, to make Donald Trump ineligible in a second vote.
Donald Trump refuses to be present at the trial
For this, Jamie Raskin and his team intend to play on the still fresh memories of elected officials whose lives were threatened on January 6. In this trial, which will be held at the scene of the crime – the Senate is one of the two chambers of the Capitol – prosecutors are not going to line up witnesses. The principal, Donald Trump, refuses to be present anyway. Instead, they planned to release a series of tweets and videos. Objective: to prove that the president’s words and actions – in particular his refusal to accept the result of the November 3 election and his electric speech to his supporters near the White House – did indeed incite the January 6 insurgency .
Still, a conviction, which is played by a two-thirds majority of 100 senators, is unlikely at this stage. Although Democrats now have a majority in the Senate, they need the support of 17 Republicans. The figure seems far too high: most elected Conservatives know that such a vote could harm them in the next election.
80% of Republican voters opposed to his conviction
Donald Trump remains very popular: some 80% of Republican voters are against the condemnation of the one they still consider to be the leader of their party. According to the same Ipsos / ABC News poll published on Sunday, 56% of Americans, on the contrary, are in favor of the condemnation of the former head of state.
The two camps are however in agreement on one point: no question of lingering on this trial at the predetermined outcome. The duration is still unknown but should not exceed a week. On the side of the Republicans, it is a question of avoiding stirring the memories of an episode that they would prefer to forget. The Democrats, for their part, do not want Donald Trump to occupy the media agenda for too long. And they need a working Senate to confirm the rest of Joe Biden’s cabinet as well as to pass the first presidential measures, like the nearly $ 2 trillion (roughly $ 1.6 trillion) stimulus package.
Original article by : www.leparisien.fr