February 10 According to a report on the VOA radio website on February 9, how to understand the controversy and focus of Trump’s second impeachment trial?
The U.S. Senate will start the impeachment trial of former U.S. President Trump on the 9th local time.
Who is involved?
According to the report, nine Democratic impeachment managers elected by the House of Representatives, led by Maryland Congressman Jamie Ruskin, will be the prosecutor for the trial accusing Trump of inciting the congressional riots on January 6 local time.
Trump has assigned new criminal defense attorney David Schoen and Bruce Castor, a former Pennsylvania District Attorney, to lead his defense team.
100 U.S. senators will be heard as “juries” for impeachment trials, and also vote on the procedure of the trial.
The trial will be presided over by Patrick Leahy, the interim president of the Senate and Democratic Senator of Vermont.
The day before the trial begins, the prosecution and the defense will submit a series of legal documents to make statements and responses to the case.
Since the U.S. Constitution stipulates that the specific rules of impeachment trials are decided by the Senate, so far, procedural details such as whether witnesses can be called will not be finalized until after the Senate debate and vote.
Trump refused to testify in the impeachment trial last week local time.
How long will the trial last?
According to the report, it is not clear at present.
But based on the information of all parties, the trial is likely to end faster than the impeachment trial against Trump’s “Ukraine Callgate” in 2020.
Will Trump be convicted?
According to the report, the possibility is very small. The U.S. Constitution stipulates that a conviction for impeachment requires the support of at least two-thirds of senators (i.e. at least 67 votes).
At present, the Senate seats are 50 seats each party, and the Democrats have become the majority party only because Vice President Kamala Harris holds a “break the deadlock vote”. That is to say, assuming that all Democratic senators are in favor of conviction, at least 17 Republican senators must support the conviction.
45 Republican senators have recently voted to say that the former president who was convicted of impeachment violated the U.S. Constitution.
However, some of the senators also stressed that specific statements and evidence in the impeachment trial will still be heard and considered.
Does the impeachment case affect Trump’s future political work?
The report pointed out that if Trump was convicted in the impeachment trial, the judgment itself did not mean that Trump would be banned from running for office.
However, the Senate may vote separately on the basis of conviction on whether to disqualify impeached persons from running for public office, and this vote only needs to be supported by a “simple majority” (i.e. more than half). In the Democratic majority Senate, once Trump is convicted, it will not be difficult to further disqualify him from politics.
But some legal experts point out that even if Trump is not convicted of impeachment, Congress can still disqualify him from politics through paragraph 3 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.
This provision stipulates that anyone who participates in “insurgency or riot” that is not conducive to the United States shall not continue to hold public office.
According to congressional precedent, a simple majority of the Senate and the House of Representatives can trigger this punishment clause. The punishment can also be lifted, subject to the vote of two-thirds of the members of both houses of Congress.
Since the constitutional clause itself does not explain how to use it, if this step is taken, it will face huge legal disputes and challenges.