Democrats deliver article of impeachment against Trump to Senate

U.S. House of Representatives adopts historic 2nd impeachment of Trump.No president has ever been impeached twice in the history of the U.S.The single article of impeachment introduced by House Democrats on Monday was adopted by a vote of 232 to 197.The article formally charges President Donald Trump with incitement of insurrection in connection to the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol.10 House Republicans broke from Trump, voting to impeach. .We know that the president of the United States incited this insurrection, this armed rebellion against our common country, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, (D-CA) House Speaker, via Reuters.He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, (D-CA) House Speaker, via Reuters.Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tweeted that the Senate would not reconvene before the end of Trump's term .to conduct a Senate impeachment trial.This means that now that the House has voted to impeach Trump.such a trial will be conducted by a Democratic-led Senate

17 Republicans needed to convict Trump; trial begins week of Feb. 8

House Democrats ceremoniously delivered their impeachment charge against the former president to the U.S. Senate Monday night.

The House impeachment managers presented the one article of impeachment for “incitement of insurrection” against former President Donald Trump shortly after 7 p.m.

Before the article was handed over to Senate leadership, Maryland Congressman Jamie Raskin — an attorney who sits on several committees including Oversight and Reform, Judiciary, Rules and House Administration — gave a brief opening statement as the lead manager of the case.

Trump became the first American president to be impeached twice only hours before his term was already set to expire, when House Democrats — joined by 10 Republicans — impeached him on a single charge following the Jan. 6 Capitol riots.

A Senate trial will be conducted for only the fourth time in the nation’s history.

The other Democratic House impeachment managers that will make the case against Trump were on hand Monday. They are: Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colorado; Rep. David Cicilline, D-Rhode Island; Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas; Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-California; Rep. Ted Lieu, D-California; Rep. Stacey Plaskett, D-U.S. Virgin Islands; Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Colorado; and Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Pennsylvania.

Democrats are hoping that strong Republican denunciations of Trump after the Jan. 6 riot will translate into a conviction and a separate vote to bar Trump from holding office again. New Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York said Trump’s impeachment trial will begin the week of Feb. 8.

However, The Associated Press is reporting a growing number of Republican senators say they are opposed to the proceeding, further diminishing the already-tenuous chances the former GOP president could be convicted at all.

While Democrats argued that Trump is a threat to democracy, their main goal in this latest impeachment effort could be to ensure Trump never again seeks or holds elected office.

That’s a tall order, because for that to happen, the Senate must convict Trump in an impeachment trial after he leaves office, which has never happened before. Also, no sitting or ex-president has ever been convicted in a Senate impeachment trial, which requires a two-thirds majority.

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If the Senate convicts Trump it could then, by simple majority, vote to disqualify him from serving in a future federal office. Article 1 of the Constitution says impeachment judgments can include “disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States.”

But now that Trump’s presidency is over, Republican senators who will serve as jurors in the trial are rallying to his legal defense, as they did during his first impeachment trial last year.

“I think the trial is stupid. I think it’s counterproductive,” said Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida. He said “the first chance I get to vote to end this trial, I’ll do it” because he believes it would be bad for the country and further inflame partisan divisions.

Trump is the first former president to face impeachment trial, and it will test his grip on the Republican Party as well as the legacy of his tenure, which came to a close as a mob of loyal supporters heeded his rally cry by storming the Capitol and trying to overturn Joe Biden’s election victory. The proceedings will also force Democrats, who have a full sweep of party control of the White House and Congress, to balance their promise to hold the former president accountable while also rushing to deliver on Biden’s priorities.

Arguments in the Senate trial will begin the week of Feb. 8. Leaders in both parties agreed to the short delay to give Trump’s team and House prosecutors time to prepare and the Senate the chance to confirm some of Biden’s Cabinet nominees. Democrats say the extra days will allow for more evidence to come out about the rioting by Trump supporters, while Republicans hope to craft a unified defense for Trump.

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Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, said in an interview with The Associated Press on Sunday he hopes that evolving clarity on the details of what happened Jan. 6 “will make it clearer to my colleagues and the American people that we need some accountability.”

Coons questioned how his colleagues who were in the Capitol that day could see the insurrection as anything other than a “stunning violation” of tradition of peaceful transfers of power.

“It is a critical moment in American history, and we have to look at it and look at it hard,” Coons said.

An early vote to dismiss the trial probably would not succeed, given that Democrats now control the Senate. Still, the mounting Republican opposition indicates that many GOP senators would eventually vote to acquit Trump. Democrats would need the support of 17 Republicans — a high bar — to convict him.

When the House impeached Trump on Jan. 13, one week after the siege, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, said he didn’t believe the Senate had the constitutional authority to convict Trump after he had left office. On Sunday, Cotton said “the more I talk to other Republican senators, the more they’re beginning to line up” behind that argument.

“I think a lot of Americans are going to think it’s strange that the Senate is spending its time trying to convict and remove from office a man who left office a week ago,” Cotton said.

ExploreREAD: Democrats’ new impeachment charge against President Trump

Democrats reject that argument, pointing to an 1876 impeachment of a secretary of war who had already resigned and to opinions by many legal scholars. Democrats also say that a reckoning of the first invasion of the Capitol since the War of 1812, perpetrated by rioters egged on by a president who told them to “fight like hell” against election results that were being counted at the time, is necessary so the country can move forward and ensure such a siege never happens again.

A few GOP senators have agreed with Democrats, though not close to the number that will be needed to convict Trump.

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said he believes there is a “preponderance of opinion” that an impeachment trial is appropriate after someone leaves office.

“I believe that what is being alleged and what we saw, which is incitement to insurrection, is an impeachable offense,” Romney said. “If not, what is?”

ExploreREAD: Donald Trump’s speech before U.S. Capitol riot

But Romney, the lone Republican to vote to convict Trump when the Senate acquitted the then-president in last year’s trial, appears to be an outlier.

Sen. Mike Rounds, R-South Dakota, said he believes a trial is a “moot point” after a president’s term is over, “and I think it’s one that they would have a very difficult time in trying to get done within the Senate.”

On Friday, GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a close Trump ally who has been helping him build a legal team, urged the Senate to reject the idea of a post-presidency trial — potentially with a vote to dismiss the charge — and suggested Republicans will scrutinize whether Trump’s words on Jan. 6 were legally “incitement.”

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who said last week that Trump “provoked” his supporters before the riot, has not said how he will vote or argued any legal strategies. The Kentucky senator has told his GOP colleagues that it will be a vote of conscience.

One of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s nine impeachment managers said Trump’s encouragement of his loyalists before the riot was “an extraordinarily heinous presidential crime.”

Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Pennsylvania, said “I mean, think back. It was just two-and-a-half weeks ago that the president assembled a mob on the Ellipse of the White House. He incited them with his words. And then he lit the match.”

Trump’s supporters invaded the Capitol and interrupted the electoral count as he claimed there was massive fraud in the election and that it was stolen by Biden. Trump’s claims were roundly rejected in the courts, including by judges appointed by Trump, and by state election officials.

Rubio and Romney were on “Fox News Sunday,” Cotton appeared on Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures” and Romney also was on CNN’s “State of the Union,” as was Dean. Rounds was interviewed on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

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