Senators to hear opening arguments as Trump fumes over trial

Senators to hear opening arguments as Trump fumes over trial
Members of the national guard patrol the area outside of the U.S. Capitol during the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump at Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021. Source: AP Photo
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Daily US Times: Opening arguments will begin in former president Donald Trump’s impeachment trial after an emotional first day ended with the Senate voting to hear the case for convicting Mr Trump of inciting the riot at the US Capitol even though he is no longer in office.

On Wednesday, House Democrats prosecuting the case and Mr trump’s attorneys will lay out their opposing arguments before the senators, who are serving as jurors. The defense lost the vote seeking to halt the trial on constitutional grounds, 56-44, leaving the former president fuming over his lawyers’ performance and allies questioning the defense strategy. Some called for yet another shakeup to Trump’s legal team.

On Tuesday, House prosecutors wrenched senators and the nation back to the deadly attack on Congress, showing a graphic video of the January 6 mob violence that stunned the the world as hundreds of violent rioters ransacked the building to try to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s victory. Five people, including a police officer, died.

That emotional and detailed presentation by Democrats was followed by meandering and occasionally confrontational arguments from Donald Trump’s team, which insisted that his remarks were protected by the First Amendment and asserted that he can’t be convicted as a former president.

Even Mr Trump’s backers in the Senate winced, several saying his lawyers were not helpful to his case.

Senators, many of whom fled for safety themselves on January 6 attack, watched and listened, unable to avoid the jarring video of violent Trump supporters battling past police to storm the halls, Trump flags waving.

More video is expected on Wednesday, including some that haven’t been seen before.

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