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The US House of Representatives on Monday formally accused former President Donald Trump of inciting insurrection in a fiery speech to supporters ahead of a deadly attack on Capitol Hill, at the start of his second trial.
Nine House Democrats serving as prosecutors will pass the building where hundreds of Trump supporters clashed with police, leaving five dead, around 7 p.m. Monday (0000 GMT), taking the impeachment article to the Senate. where Trump will face trial.
A similar ceremony was held for Trump’s first impeachment trial last January, when the House Clerk and Sergeant at Arms led a small procession of lawmakers through a silent Capitol.
The milestone will mark two historic firsts: Trump is the only U.S. president to have been indicted by the House twice and will be the first to face trial after leaving office. Conviction in the Senate could result in a vote to ban him from future office.
Leaders of the Senate, which is split 50-50 with a majority for Democrats thanks to Vice President Kamala Harris’ tiebreaker vote, agreed not to begin the trial until February 9.
That gives Trump more time to prepare a defense. and allows the chamber to focus on President Joe Biden‘s top priorities, including cabinet appointments.
After a two-month campaign to try to discredit his electoral defeat, Trump on January 6 urged his supporters to “fight” to reverse the result. Later, a mob descended on the Capitol, sending lawmakers to shelters and delaying formal congressional certification of Biden’s victory by several hours.
Ten House Republicans joined Democrats in voting to impeach Trump. Senate Democrats will need the support of 17 Republicans to convict him, a hurdle given Trump’s continued popularity with Republican voters.
A Reuters / Ipsos poll on Friday found that 51% of Americans thought the Senate should convict Trump. Among the ranks of the party, the situation was different with less than two in 10 Republicans agreeing.
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