Chaos at impeachment hearing
Trial against Trump is heading for a quick end
Is Donald Trump guilty of “inciting riot”? After brief confusion about a possible summoning of witnesses, the impeachment process against the ex-president could be nearing its end.
No witnesses are to be heard in the impeachment proceedings against former US President Donald Trump. With that the closing arguments could begin. Following this, a vote on the impeachment is expected. Trump can no longer be removed from office. But condemnation would be a signal and prevent him from being given political office again. The trial is about whether Trump incited the storming of the Capitol on January 6th.
At first, the Senate surprisingly spoke out in favor of hearing more witnesses. It was mainly about a telephone conversation between Trump and the Republican parliamentary group leader in the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, that was held during the storming. In the phone call, Trump is said to have commented indifferently about the storm on the Capitol, like Republican MP Jaime Herrera Beutler wrote on Twitter. Accordingly, Trump said the protesters who stormed the Capitol were apparently more concerned about the outcome of the election than McCarthy.
The prosecutors wanted to hear Beutler first. Instead, she submitted a written statement to the evidence.
Both parties have an interest in bringing the impeachment process to a swift conclusion.
The Democrats want to prevent the process from overshadowing the start of President Joe Biden’s term and blocking the work of the Senate. For the Republicans, a longer process does not seem desirable either – they want to start the post-Trump era. Many of them do not want to have to confess to the ex-president all the time.
Democratic chief prosecutor Jamie Raskin
In the closing arguments, the prosecutors urged the ex-president to be convicted.
The burden of proof of Trump’s responsibility for storming the Capitol was “overwhelming and irrefutable,” said Chief Prosecutor Jamie Raskin, a Democratic MP from the House of Representatives.
Chief instigator of the mob
The then president called the mob to Washington, poked the crowd and then started the fire, argued Raskin. Even after the storming of the parliament building began, Trump did nothing to stop the attack. Trump had shown no remorse, but “delighted” in the violence, he said. It is a serious disregard of his oath of office. On that day he was not the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, but the “chief instigator” of the mob, said Raskin.
So far it looks like an acquittal for Trump: For a conviction, 17 Republicans would have to join the 50 Democrats in the Senate, which is currently not foreseeable.
Trump on January 6 in his address to the Capitol stormers.
On January 6, supporters of the elected president violently stormed the Capitol. Congress met there to officially confirm the election victory of Trump’s successor Joe Biden. Five people were killed in the riots, including a police officer. Trump had stirred up his supporters immediately before that his election victory had been stolen. Among other things, he said: “If you don’t fight like the devil, you will have no more land.”
The Democrats accuse him of “inciting a riot” and have initiated impeachment proceedings in the House of Representatives.
The y also want to achieve that the ex-president is banned from future political offices at the federal level.
The impeachment process is managed and decided in the Senate.
The Congress Chamber takes on the role of a court. Some commentators rated the back and forth over the summoning of witnesses on Saturday as unfortunate for the Democrats, who first got a testimony and eventually withdrew.
Trump’s defense attorney Michael van der Veen had threatened to announce in the event that witnesses were summoned that he would need not just one, but “more than 100 statements”. Republican Senator Ted Cruz said the Democrats would open “Pandora’s Box” and delay the process for months.
The Republican minority leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, had informed his colleagues according to US media reports on Saturday that he would vote against a conviction of Trump. Although it was a “close decision” on the matter, he remained convinced that the constitution did not give the Senate the right to bring proceedings against an ex-president. Almost all Republicans took this view in a vote at the beginning of the process. It is a formal argument that Senators critical of Trump can also vote against a conviction.
It is the second impeachment process that Trump has to face. In the first, he had to answer in the so-called Ukraine affair for abuse of power and obstruction of congressional investigations. In February 2020, however, he was finally acquitted of all allegations by the Senate.
Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my firstname.lastname@example.org 1-800-268-7116