With Republican positions hardening and President Biden’s agenda procedurally slowed, Democratic senators began to signal that they had seen enough, too, and members of both sides were rallying around a plan to end quickly to trial with a vote on guilt or innocence. from Saturday.
- A trial is underway to decide whether former President Donald J. Trump is guilty of inciting a murderous mob of his supporters when they stormed the Capitol on January 6, violently violating security measures and sent lawmakers went underground as they gathered to certify President Biden. victory.
- The House voted 232 to 197 to approve a single article of impeachment, accusing Mr. Trump of “inciting violence against the government of the United States” in his quest to overturn the election results. Ten Republicans joined Democrats in voting to remove him.
- To condemn Mr. Trump, the Senate would need a two-thirds majority to agree. That means at least 17 Republican senators would have to vote with Senate Democrats to be sentenced.
- A conviction seems unlikely. Last month, only five Republicans in the Senate sided with the Democrats in pushing back a Republican attempt to dismiss the charges because Mr. Trump is no longer in office. Only 27 senators say they are undecided on whether to condemn Mr. Trump.
- If the Senate condemns Mr. Trump, convicting him of “inciting violence against the United States government,” then senators could vote on whether to prevent him from performing his future duties. That vote would only require a simple majority, and if it were party lines, Democrats would win with Vice President Kamala Harris voting for the tiebreaker.
- If the Senate does not condemn Mr. Trump, the former president could again be eligible for public office. Public opinion polls show he remains by far the most popular national figure in the Republican Party.
Confident of acquittal, Mr Trump was spotted on a golf course in Florida as his defense team prepared a truncated presentation to be offered on Friday rather than taking the full two days for arguments permitted by the rules of the trial.
After a highly controversial preliminary appearance earlier this week, lawyers for Mr. Trump planned to argue that he was being prosecuted for partisan enmity, had never openly called for violence and was not responsible for the actions of his supporters .
Republican senators have been reluctant to defend Mr. Trump’s actions, instead explaining their likely acquittal votes by arguing that it is unconstitutional and unwise to bring a former president to justice and by accusing Democrats who sometimes use fiery speech themselves to hold a political enemy to a double. Standard. The Senate on Tuesday rejected the constitutionality argument by 56 to 44, allowing the trial to continue, but Republicans said they were under no obligation to accept the judgment.
“My point of view is unchanged as to whether or not we have the power to do it, and I am certainly not bound by the fact that 56 people think we are doing it,” said Senator Roy Blunt, Republican of the Missouri. “I can vote, and I think you can’t remove a former president. And if the former president did things that were illegal, there is a process to follow for that.
Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio offered similar reasoning. “What happened on January 6 – I said this when it started – was unpatriotic, anti-American, traitor, an unacceptable crime,” he said. “The fundamental question for me, and I don’t know for everyone, is whether an impeachment trial is appropriate for someone who is no longer in office. I do not believe this is the case.