February 9th local time, the U.S. Senate officially launched the impeachment trial of former President Trump. Trump is the only president in American history who has been impeached twice and the first outgoing president to face an impeachment trial.
At noon local time on February 10, the impeachment manager of the House of Representatives and the Trump lawyer team each made statements, each party’s statement lasted for up to 16 hours.
After the presentations of both sides are completed, the senator has four hours to ask questions, and the impeachment manager can also summon witnesses.
Some analysts predict that if the prosecution and defense agree not to call witnesses, the final vote on the outcome of the trial may be held on February 14 or 15 local time.
Now two days have passed since the trial began. From entangling whether the trial is unconstitutional to releasing new video evidence, the trial process can be said to be “climaxing”.
What are the focus points of this trial in the nearly 48 hours?
House presents audio and video evidence
According to the Washington Post, on February 10 local time, the House of Representatives impeachment administrator released previously undisclosed audio and video evidence, which showed that Trump supporters who broke into the Capitol on January 6 local time intended to hurt former U.S. Vice President Pence and other senior officials. Official.
The audio came from the voice of overwhelmed police desperately asking for support, and the Capitol security camera recorded footage showing that lawmakers were sometimes only a few steps away from the rioters. There were also people who shouted the names of the House Speaker, Democrat Nancy Pelosi and Pence in an attempt to find them.
House impeachment administrators say these are the direct results of Trump’s months of convincing his supporters to believe in “election fraud”. Trump supporters echoed his call to stop the counting with violence.
U.S. Virgin Islands Rep. Stacey Plaskett said, “It’s like Trump putting a target on Pence and other members of Congress, allowing his supporters to rush into the Capitol to arrest them.”
In addition to the new audio and video evidence, the House impeachment administrator also made a 13-minute “montage” clip, which spliced together pictures of the rally, screenshots of Trump’s comments and interviews with Trump supporters to prove Trump’s incitement in the Capitol riots. Function.
According to The Washington Post, Trump is also aware of the emotional impact of several videos on senators.
Trump is pushing his team to make videos, including controversial remarks from Democratic lawmakers, to counter his opponents, one adviser said.
It is not clear whether this “obtrusive” new evidence will change the minds of Republican senators.
Many of them have hinted that they intend to vote for Trump’s innocence.
Under the U.S. Constitution, only more than two-thirds of senators, or 67 senators, support impeachment charges, will be convicted.
Trump is accused of “inciting the commander-in-chief”
On February 10 local time, Democratic Rep. Ruskin, the chief manager of the House impeachment case, pointed out that Trump was not an “innocent bystander”, but an inciting stigator of the riot, and it was he who “praises, encouraged and promoted violence” according to the BBC.
Trump dropped his role as commander-in-chief of the army and became the commander-in-chief of incitement.
“He had expected it. For us, this matter is full of chaos and madness, but the madness of that day is not without a reason.” Raskin added that “these people can be so openly organized and posted on the forum before the riots, because they were sent by Trump, and they were invited by the President of the United States.”
Ruskin said that Trump tweeted the day he was attacked at the Capitol and said that he would always remember the day. He is not to express sadness, but to celebrate.
Ruskin accused Trump of watching the Capitol riots as a “reality show”.
According to NPR, Trump’s lawyers argued that Trump’s speech was protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Raskin refuted this, “the factual premise and legal basis of this statement are wrong”.
Ruskin pointed out that Trump did not only express the opposite views at the rally, and inciting violence was not a protected speech.
Trump is extremely dissatisfied with his defense lawyer
On February 9th, local time, the first day of the impeachment trial, Trump’s defense lawyer’s performance was “bad” by most Republican senators.
On the same day, the two sides mainly debated about impeaching a former president as constitutional. In his defense of Trump, Trump lawyer Bruce Caster first condemned the Trump supporters who caused the Capitol riots and praised the exciting testimony of the House impeachment administrator.
Custer then spoke extensively about the fall of the ancient government, the importance of freedom, and his personal admiration for senators to impeach and convict Trump.
Some Republicans said they were “shocked” and “confused” by Trump’s legal team, criticizing the two lawyers for lack of focus and weak arguments in the impeachment trial, according to the Hill newspaper.
Republican Senator Cassidy of Louisiana pointed out that Trump’s lawyer talked about everything except about the immediate problems.
“I don’t understand what he’s doing at all, and I don’t understand why he’s saying it.” Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard law professor, was very confused about Caster’s speech.
Texas Republican Senator John Corning also said, “Custer is just talking, talking, but he has not really settled the constitutional dispute.”
Subsequently, the Senate confirmed the constitutionality of the impeachment trial of former President Trump by 56 votes to 44.
Custer’s performance also made Trump very dissatisfied. According to the U.S. political news website Politico, Trump deliberately stayed at home to watch the whole process of his lawyer team’s defense.
Two people familiar with the matter revealed that the statement of the House impeachment administrator was in sharp contrast to Trump’s lawyers, which made Trump feel “growing and more frustrated”. CNN pointed out that several people familiar with the matter said that Trump almost “shout” when he saw Castor’s aimless statement.