US Senate says Trump’s trial is constitutional and can go ahead

Senate says trial is constitutional and can go ahead
Donald Trump’s lawyers say he ‘fully and faithfully executed his duties as president of the United States’. Source: AFP
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Daily US Times: The US Senate has found that former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial is constitutional, allowing full proceedings to begin.

The defence team of Mr Trump argued that he cannot face trial after leaving the White House.

But a 56-44 majority voted in favour of continuing the impeachment trial, with a handful of Republicans backing the measure.

Mr Trump is accused of “inciting insurrection” when US Capitol was stormed last month.

Thousands gathered in support of false claims that widespread voter fraud denied Mr Trump victory in the US presidential election.

Democrats prosecuting the case opened Tuesday’s proceedings by showing a video montage of Donald Trump’s 6 January speech and the deadly rioting by some of his supporters.

“That’s a high crime and misdemeanour. If that’s not an impeachable offense, then there’s no such thing,” Representative Jamie Raskin of Maryland said of the footage.

Lawyers for Mr Trump argued it was no constitutional to put a former president through the process at all and accused Democrats of being politically motivated.

The 56-44 split means six Republican Senators joined Democrats in voting to go ahead with the trial.

Although this shows some bipartisanship, this result implies loyalty toward Mr Trump in his party remains high enough to avoid a conviction.

A two-thirds majority is required to convict the former president in the evenly split 100-seat Senate.

If convicted Mr Trump could be barred from holding public office again.

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