UNITED STATES—On Tuesday, February 9, the first day of the second impeachment trial of former President Donald J. Trump began with U.S. Senators voted 56-44 that the impeachment of Trump is constitutional. Republicans who voted indicating impeachment was constitutional included Mitt Romney of Utah, Susan Collins of Maine, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, and Ben Sasse of Nebraska.
Senators also passed with a vote of 89-11, a resolution on the timeline. The trial was scheduled to come to a halt on Friday at the request of Trump’s attorney, David Schoen.
The trial was led by Senator Patrick Leahy, 80, a Democrat from Vermont. Senator Jamie Raskin of Maryland commenced opening arguments against Trump for the Democratic party. Senator Raskin showed a spliced video of former President Trump telling an crowd at the Save America rally just before the riots transpired.
Video depicted former President Trump saying, “We have to get out there and fight.” Parts of the video where Trump said “To march peacefully and patriotically to let your voices be heard” were removed.
Republican Senators argued that to impeach a former President, who is now a private citizen is unconstitutional. Schoen called the attempts to impeach Trump, was part of “A four-year lust for impeachment.”
Senator Ted Cruz was the first to vote no. Senators Josh Hawley, Ron Johnson, Mike Lee, Roger Marshall, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Rick Scott, Tim Scott, Tommy Tuberville and Bill Haggerty all voted no.
The United States Constitution provides that the House of Representatives “shall have the sole Power of Impeachment” ( Article I, section 2 ) and that “the Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments…[but] no person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two-thirds of the Members present” ( Article I, section 3 ), states the U.S. Senate website.
Day two of the impeachment trial saw Democrats focus on proving former President Trump was guilty of a single count of incitement of insurrection in the riots. Republican senators will have their opportunity to defend President Trump’s right to due process. It will take 17 Republicans to side with Democrats to impeach Donald J. Trump.
The prosecution remained focused on Trump’s words, “You have to get out and fight or we will lose America.”