The impeachment trial of Donald Trump will begin the week of February 8 in the Senate, after the transmission of the indictment of the former president early next week, announced on Friday January 22, the Democratic leader of the Senate Chuck Schumer.
This two-week delay between the delivery of the indictment and the start of the proceedings will ensure that the trial does not monopolize the sessions in the upper house for the start of Joe Biden’s term. The Senate will thus be able in particular to confirm the members of its government.
“Incitement to insurgency”
Donald Trump must be tried for “Incitement to insurgency” and Mr. Schumer clarified that the indictment “Would be sent to the Senate on Monday”. “Our prosecutors are ready to defend their case before the 100 senators who will serve as judges during the trial”, then confirmed Nancy Pelosi in a statement.
Concretely, these “Prosecutors” – elected House Democrats led by Jamie Raskin – will cross the halls of Congress on Monday to bring the indictment into the Senate Chamber, where they will read it to senators. This step marks the formal opening of the trial, but the debates on the merits will therefore not begin until two weeks later.
Donald Trump is accused of encouraging his supporters to take the plunge storming the Capitol on January 6 at the time when the elected representatives of Congress certified the victory of his Democratic rival in the presidential election.
“You will never take back our country by being weak. You have to show strength and you have to be strong ”, he had launched to his supporters shortly before they invaded the Capitol, sowing chaos and violence. Five people died during this attack.
Very critical republicans
A week later, Donald Trump became the first president in US history to be indicted twice by the House, controlled by the Democrats.
This time, some elected Republicans were very critical. Even the leader of the Republicans in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, who was one of his strongest allies during his presidency, has made it known that he does not rule out finding him guilty.
But the Constitution imposes a two-thirds threshold for convicting a president, and it would take 17 Republican senators to join the 50 Democrats to achieve that qualified majority, which is very uncertain at this point.
If Donald Trump were found guilty, he would not be impeached since he has already left the White House, but he would become ineligible, as he has toyed with the idea of a new presidential candidacy in 2024.