Towards a second impeachment trial for Trump: the debates have begun

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The House of Representatives will vote today on an indictment that should lead to a second impeachment trial for President Donald Trump. This would be a first in the history of the United States.

Debates got underway around 9 a.m. EST with a debate on the rules of procedure, which will culminate in a first vote. The debate and vote on the indictment itself is expected to take place by mid-afternoon.

Voting is expected to proceed slowly, due to the protocol in place due to COVID-19, and because elected officials must now pass through metal detectors before reaching the House.

The Democratic majority in the lower house of Congress unveiled the indictment on Monday for incitement to insurgency, in the wake of the assault on Congress led by his supporters last Wednesday.

Steny Hoyer, masked, speaks standing in front of his seat in the House of Representatives.

House of Representatives Democratic majority leader Steny Hoyer is arguing for impeachment.

Photo: Reuters / Erin Schaff

The assault, which resulted in five deaths, including a police officer, and dozens of injuries, came after the Republican president invited his gathered supporters to march on Capitol Hill, the seat of Congress.

Congress was then convened to certify the results of the November 3 presidential election, which Democrat Joe Biden won. The latter will be sworn in on January 20.

President Trump continues to argue, despite the lack of evidence and despite multiple legal setbacks, that this vote was fraudulent and that the election was stolen from him.

Members of the National Guard, in military fatigues, are lying on the floor of an atrium.

Members of the National Guard, deployed as reinforcements to protect the Capitol, rest on the floor of the visitors' center. They have been exceptionally armed for the occasion.

Photo: Getty Images / AFP / SAUL LOEB

A result that is hardly in doubt

The result of the vote in the House of Representatives is not in doubt, since almost all Democrats, who are in the majority, intend to approve it.

At least five Republicans have announced they will join the movement, including Liz Cheney, number 3 in the Republican House hierarchy and daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney.

If the indictment is indeed approved, it will be up to the Senate to conduct the presidential impeachment trial.

Senators could then vote to ban Mr. Trump from any elected office, preventing him from running for president again in 2024.

Marjorie Taylor Greene, masked, crosses a metal detector.

Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, a follower of the pro-Trump QAnon conspiracy movement, walks through a metal detector installed in Congress after last week's violent assault.

Photo: Reuters / JONATHAN ERNST

Democratic Majority House Leader Steny Hoyer said this morning that the indictment could be sent to the Senate very quickly.

There is no reason not to send it this week. We intend to do it, he told MSNBC in an interview.

Earlier this week, Democratic Whip James Clyburn hinted that the indictment might not be forwarded until later, perhaps 100 days after Mr Biden was sworn in.

Under the Constitution, once seized of the indictment, the Senate must immediately begin the impeachment trial.

This political trial is led by the President of the Supreme Court and the senators serve as jurors.

More details to come.

To read also:

  • Destitution, take 2 – An analysis by Raphaël Bouvier-Auclair
  • The Future of the Republican Party: The Difficult Introspection – An Analysis by Michel C. Auger

With information from CNN, New York Times, and Reuters

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