The Senate voted in favor of proceeding with the second impeachment trial of former president Donald Trump.
With a handful of Republicans backing the measure, the constitutional vote passed by 56 – 44 votes.
Trump’s lawyers took up to four hours to make the case against the constitutionality of impeachment. They argued that the trial is unconstitutional because he is no more the President but a private citizen.
The impeachment managers will begin their presentation at noon, Wednesday. Both sides are allowed up to 16 hours each for arguments.
The nine impeachment managers prosecuting the case, who are Democrats from the House of Representatives, opened the proceedings Tuesday by playing a 13-minute chilling video footage of scenes from the U.S. Capitol riot. The video also included Trump’s speech at the Stop the Steal rally, where he is seen telling the rioters “we love you.”
After watching the video, Rep. Jamie Raskin said, “That’s a high crime and misdemeanor.” “If that’s not an impeachable offense, then there is no such thing,” added the Democratic lawmaker.
The impeachment managers have charged that Trump is responsible for the deadly riot at the Capitol on January 6 by “inciting insurrection” in a speech to supporters hours before the Congressional meeting to certify Biden’s presidential election win.
Trump followers’ failed violent attempt to block the Congress from certifying Biden’s victory had resulted in the death of five people.
A resolution charging Trump with “incitement of insurrection” was passed in the House of Representatives on January 13. 10 Republican Representatives voted against Trump, who thus became the first president in US history to be impeached twice.
The Democrats need the support of at least 17 Republican senators to reach the target in the 100 member Upper House, but only six of them voted to move forward with impeachment Tuesday.
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