- With 56 votes in favor and 44 votes against, the Upper Chamber of Congress thus confirmed that the case against the former head of state falls within its jurisdiction.
- David Schoen, President Trump’s defense lawyer, argued that the real purpose of the trial is to halt Donald Trump’s run-in the future.
- Democrats seem well short of the 17 Republicans needed to convict.
The impeachment process against the former President of the United States, Donald Trump, continues. On Tuesday, the Senate approved the continuation of the case, with votes from Democrats and some Republicans, with the display of images of the assault on the Capitol in January.
The prosecution considers the assault to have occurred thanks to incitement by the former President. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said:
“It is our solemn constitutional duty to conduct a fair and honest impeachment trial of the charges against former President Trump, the gravest charges ever brought against a President of the United States in American history. This resolution provides for a fair trial and I urge the Senate to adopt it.”
With 56 votes in favor and 44 votes against, the Senate thus confirmed that the case against the former president falls within its jurisdiction.
Six Republicans voted in favor of continuing the process, along with all 48 Democrats and both Independent Senators.
After the prosecution displayed videos to argue before the 100 senators that the January 6 assault on the Capitol resulted from incitement to violence by former President Trump, defense lawyers said that political hatred had led to “irresponsibility in the process” under way in the Senate.
David Schoen, President Trump’s defense lawyer, argued that the real purpose of the trial is to halt Donald Trump’s run-in the future. This, Mr. Schoen argued, led to several unconstitutionalities, first of all the fact that “a citizen” is being tried in the Senate. He argued impeachment is a process reserved in the Constitution for those currently holding public office.
Mr. Schoen argued that the nation will not be able to reconcile itself with this trial. He argued that the move will open the wounds even more, due to taking advantage of an opportunity for political purposes, to remove Donald Trump from the Presidency in the future.
He argued this would deny the representation of President Trump’s voters. Mr. Schoen stressed that the process of impeachment cannot be used as a weapon for political and partisan purposes.
The Senate vote took place at the end of the first day of debate, with a simple majority being enough to move the process forward. Democrats have half of the 100 seats in the Senate and had the support of some Republicans.
The Constitution states that the conviction will only be valid if it has the support of two-thirds of the 100 senators. That is, if 17 or more Republicans join with the 50 Democrats. Thus, the prosecution is still far from the objective of gathering the necessary votes so as to block Donald Trump from becoming President of the United States in the future.
Donald Trump is the first President to be subject to impeachment twice, and the first to be tried after he has already left office.