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Globe Live Media, Monday, January 25, 2021
The United States House of Representatives formally presented the indictment against Donald Trump to the Senate on Monday, marking the official opening of his historic impeachment trial for “incitement to insurrection” in the violent acts perpetrated by his followers on Capitol Hill on 6 from January.
Starting Tuesday, the Upper House will officially convene Trump for this process, which will not begin until February 9.
Senators will be sworn in that day to become jurors in this doubly historic trial: Trump is the first US president to be “impeachment” twice. And he will be the first to be tried after leaving the White House.
– US security in danger –
Under solemn silence, the nine “prosecutors” appointed by the Democratic Speaker of the Lower House, Nancy Pelosi, crossed to reach the Senate the same hallways decorated with statues and paintings that were stormed by Trump supporters less than three weeks ago. .
Later, his boss, Jamie Raskin, read the indictment for “incitement to insurrection” in the Senate chamber, words that resonated in a special way because everyone in the building, congressmen and senators, witnessed the violent events.
“Donald John Trump” incited “violence” and “seriously endangered the security of the United States and its institutions,” said the Democratic congressman, citing mainly his “false statements” denying the victory of Joe Biden in the presidential elections. November.
The Republican millionaire is accused of having incited his followers to storm the headquarters of Congress while legislators certified Biden’s electoral victory.
“They will never get our country back by being weak,” Trump told protesters shortly before the attack on Capitol Hill, which left five dead. “They have to show strength.”
An exact week after the assault, the House of Representatives had voted his impeachment, on January 13.
The violence on Capitol Hill shocked the United States and prompted many Republican leaders to denounce the impetuous mogul’s conduct.
But a Senate conviction seems unlikely at this point, as Trump, still very popular with his constituents, still has key supporters in the Upper House.
– It has to be done –
The trial against Trump takes place as Biden tries to accelerate the vaccination campaign to stop a coronavirus pandemic that leaves more than 420,000 dead, and negotiates with reluctant Republicans the approval of his gigantic reactivation plan for 1.9 trillion dollars.
Negotiations “are just beginning,” Biden told reporters Monday, giving himself “two weeks” to get a clear idea of support for this vast plan in Congress.
Democrats control the House of Representatives. But their majority in the Upper House is very fragile: they occupy 50 of the seats compared to the other 50 of the Republicans. In the event of a tie, Vice President Kamala Harris has the deciding vote.
But it takes 60 votes to put the main reforms to the vote. And two-thirds of the Senate to convict Trump, a goal that seems difficult to achieve, even though his influential Republican minority leader, Mitch McConnell, did not rule out voting for the conviction.
“I find this judgment stupid,” Republican Sen. Marco Rubio noted on Fox Sunday. “The country is already on fire and it’s like pouring gasoline on this fire.”
Others even hope to completely block the holding of the trial, declaring it unconstitutional to try a former president.
“That doesn’t make sense,” replied Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Such a “theory” would be like granting a “special constitutional favor” to presidents.
A great critic of Trump, Republican Senator Mitt Romney is one of the few voices in his party that supports the procedure, although he has not spoken publicly about his vote.
Romney was the only Republican to convict the real estate mogul in his first impeachment in February 2020 for his alleged pressure on Ukraine to harm Biden.
The president was acquitted by a Senate then Republican majority.
This time, Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy will preside over the process, not Chief Justice John Roberts.
The delay of the trial to February 9 is the product of an agreement between Democrats and Republicans. Thus Trump will have time to prepare his defense, and Biden the possibility that the Senate confirms his cabinet, and – he hopes – that Congress approves his first major legislative projects.
So far the president had been kept at bay from the impeachment process of his predecessor. “I think it has to be done,” however, he told CNN on Monday.
Just before the ceremony, the Senate approved the appointment of Janet Yellen as Secretary of the Treasury. The confirmation vote for future head of US diplomacy Antony Blinken will take place on Tuesday.
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