Former US President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial is set to commence on the first week of February 2021. The Republican leader has been facing impeachment following his inflammatory speech on January 6, where he urged thousands of his supporters to flock to the US Capitol and protest the congressional certification of Joe Biden’s victory in the US polls.
Trump’s Trial Postponed To February
The trial was postponed to February at the request of Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell, who stated that Trump should be awarded time for a fair trial.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer emphasized the need to move quickly on confirmation of President Joe Biden’s Cabinet and other key administration officials stating that this would also grant time to Donald Trump’s defense team to prepare for the trial.
“During that period, the Senate will continue to do other business for the American people, such as Cabinet nominations and the COVID relief bill which would provide relief for millions of Americans who are suffering during this pandemic” Schumer said on the Senate floor.
Ever since Trump‘s impeachment, the federal law enforcement officials have been examining a number of threats aimed at members of Congress including threats about killing legislators or attacking them outside of the U.S. Capitol, a U.S. official told The Associated Press.
As per reports, these threats mainly posted online and in chat groups talk about plots to attack members of Congress during travel to and from the Capitol complex during the trial.
These threats have prompted the U.S. Capitol Police and other federal law enforcement to insist thousands of National Guard troops remain in Washington as the Senate moves forward with plans for Trump’s trial.
Republicans Display Deep Resistance To Trump’s Trial
As one nears the day of the trial, a few Republicans are displaying resentment towards the treatment meted out to their leader. While acknowledging that Trump bore responsibility for the siege of Capitol on January 6, they deemed it unfair to put a private citizen as Trump now is on trial.
“I think the trial is stupid. I think it’s counterproductive. We already have a flaming fire in this country and it’s like taking a bunch of gasoline and pouring it on top," Marco Rubio, the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, told “Fox News Sunday."
While Senator Mike Rounds told NBC’s “Meet the Press" that the constitution does not allow for the impeachment of a former president.
What Will Happen in the Second Trial
Donald Trump became the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice, and when the Senate convenes for his trial on February 9, he will be the first president to be tried after leaving office.
Ten House Republicans joined Democrats on January 13 in impeaching him. The support of at least 17 Senate Republicans would be needed in order to convict him.
However, a separate vote would then be needed to ban him from running for office again which Trump has conveyed he is likely to do in 2024.
But, Trump’s fate ultimately could depend on McConnell, whose position is likely to influence other Republican lawmakers. The Kentucky Republican said this week that the mob was “fed lies” and “provoked by the president and other powerful people.”
The Senators are hopeful that the trial will be a quick affair, unlike the last time when it lasted for 21 days. Democrats hope to devote part of each day to regular business but the trial involving Trump seems to undercut any bid for bipartisan cooperation.