In the US Senate there are signs that the impeachment proceedings against ex-President Donald Trump will soon be concluded. Prosecutors again called for Trump to be convicted of storming the Capitol. “It’s about protecting our republic and about defining the standards for the conduct of presidents,” warned the chief prosecutor of the House of Representatives, Jamie Raskin. Trump’s defense lawyers, in turn, denied the allegations and spoke of “monstrous lies”.
The deliberations in the Senate are to continue on Saturday morning. Should the senators decide against hearing witnesses, as expected, the defense and prosecution would each have two hours for closing arguments. The Senate could then vote on Trump’s impeachment. An end to the proceedings on Saturday – after only five days – is not set in stone; a wish of the majority for a hearing of witnesses or other procedural questions could prevent this.
“Incitement to riot”
On January 6, supporters of the elected president forcibly 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 the election victory had been stolen from him. 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. So far it looks like an acquittal for the Republican Trump: For a conviction, 17 Republicans would have to join the 50 Democrats in the Senate, which is currently not foreseeable.
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. (apa, reuters)