Democrats deliver Donald Trump’s indictment to the US Senate on Monday, ringing the formal opening of the historic impeachment trial of the former president accused of “inciting insurgency” during the violence on Capitol Hill, which will not be held until February, however.
Less than a week after leaving the White House, the Republican billionaire returns to dominate the news in Washington while his successor, Democrat Joe Biden, continues to sign dozens of decrees in an attempt to restore the world’s largest economy and fight against the epidemic.
With his indictment for “inciting insurgency” passed in the House of Representatives on January 13, Donald Trump became the first president of the United States to fall twice under the blow of “impeachment”. He will now become the first to stand an impeachment trial after leaving office.
The formal opening of this trial will be marked on Monday evening by a solemn ceremony.
Around 7:00 p.m. (00:00 GMT Tuesday), the Democratic House “prosecutors” will cross the long corridors decorated with paintings and statues that separate them from the Senate to present the indictment of the 45th President of the United States.
Donald Trump is accused by the House of having incited his supporters to launch an assault on the seat of Congress on January 6, while parliamentarians certified the victory of his rival Joe Biden in the presidential election.
“You will never take back our country by being weak. You must show strength and you must be strong,” he told protesters shortly before the attack on Capitol Hill, which left five dead.
The scenes of violence upset America, and pushed several big names in the Republic to denounce the behavior of the stormy billionaire. But a Senate conviction appears unlikely at this stage, with the real estate mogul counting on many supporters.
Following the transmission of the indictment on Monday, the senators, who will serve as jurors, will be sworn in on Tuesday. But the trial itself will not begin until Feb. 9.
– Confirmation de Yellen –
A delay that will allow Joe Biden to see more members of his cabinet confirmed by the Senate, before he is monopolized by this procedure.
The Senate must therefore approve Monday afternoon the appointment of Janet Yellen as Secretary of the Treasury.
The confirmation vote of the future head of American diplomacy Antony Blinken has not yet been scheduled, but is expected this week.
Drawing a gloomy picture of the health and economic crises which “worsen” in the United States, the new Democratic president also hopes to take advantage of these two weeks to push for the adoption in Congress of several major measures.
But the centerpiece of its proposals, a titanic plan to revive the economy and fight the pandemic of 1.9 trillion dollars, could be difficult to be adopted as it is, according to the first sharp opposition of Republicans .
– “Stupid” trial –
Since Wednesday, Democrats have taken control of the Senate in addition to the House. But their majority is extremely fragile: they occupy 50 seats in senators, against 50 for Republicans. In the event of a perfect tie in a vote, new Vice President Kamala Harris has the power to add her voice to tip the scales on the Democratic side.
But they will need 60 votes to put the major reforms to a vote. And two-thirds of the Senate to condemn Donald Trump, or 17 Republican votes.
A number that seems elusive, even if their influential leader, Mitch McConnell, has not ruled out voting for his conviction.
“I find this trial stupid. I think it will be counterproductive,” thundered Republican Senator Marco Rubio Sunday on Fox. “The country is already in flames and it is like pouring gasoline on this fire.”
Republican senators even consider it unconstitutional to judge a former president for impeachment, and seek a way to simply prevent the holding of the trial.
Few party senators nevertheless defend this procedure.
“If we want this country to come together, it is important to recognize that accountability, truth and justice are needed,” Mitt Romney said Sunday on Fox, suggesting he could find the mogul of real estate.
This former presidential candidate was the only Republican senator to condemn Donald Trump during his first impeachment trial, in February 2020 in the Ukrainian case.
The president was then acquitted by a Senate with a Republican majority.