Former President Donald Trump faces his second impeachment trial in the United States Senate for his alleged role in inciting an insurrection on Jan. 6.
While no president has ever been impeached twice, no Senate has ever voted to convict a commander-in-chief. Impeachment managers need at least 17 GOP Senators to take their side, assuming all 50 Democratic-aligned Senators vote to convict, too. Only five Republicans were open to having a trial in the first place, however: 45 voted to dismiss the article of impeachment outright for lack of jurisdiction. Thus, to say the least, impeachment managers have a steep hill to climb.
On Tuesday, six Republican Senators joined Democrats in voting that it is constitutional to put Trump on trial after he is out of office.
Trump supporters raided the Capitol Building on Jan. 6 after then-POTUS continued his campaign of falsehoods at a nearby rally, telling his audience that he actually won the 2020 presidential election and that it was being stolen from him.
“We fight like hell, and if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore,” he said in a prior speech at the Ellipse Park. Trump urged his supporters to march to the Capitol. He did not join them, though he spoke in terms of “we.”
“We’re going to walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women, and we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them because you’ll never take back our country with weakness,” he said. ” You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.”
The ensuing chaos and deadly violence postponed but did not prevent Congress from counting Electoral College votes weighing in favor of Joe Biden, the actual winner of the 2020 election.
Attorneys for Trump have insisted that his speech was protected by the First Amendment, and that the impeachment trial is moot because he is out of office. Legal experts have rejected the free speech argument. Lawyer Charles Cooper, who represented Trump’s former National Security Advisor John Bolton during the president’s first impeachment, argued in a Sunday op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that the former president could, indeed, be put on trial despite being out of office. Michigan State University law professor Brian Kalt said Monday that Trump lawyers misrepresented his work when they cited him in their attempt to show that only sitting officials can be subjected to an impeachment trial.
Five people died amid the chaos that House Impeachment managers say was an insurrection of Donald Trump’s making:
- The death of Capitol police officer Brian D. Sicknick, 42, is being investigated as a possible murder. He died from his injuries the day after Jan. 6, police said.
- Trump supporter Ashli Babbit, 35, was shot and killed by a police officer while climbing through a broken window into the Speaker’s Lobby, where she was part of a group of rioters trying to bust through the barricaded doors.
- Trump supporter Rosanne Boyland, 34, was reportedly trampled by rioters before her death.
- Trump supporter Kevin Greeson, 55, died of a heart attack outside of the Capitol.
- Trump supporter Benjamin Phillips, 50, is said to have died of a stroke.
Three people also died by suicide mere days later:
- Capitol police officer Howard Liebengood, 51.
- D.C. Metropolitan police officer Jeffrey Smith, 35.
- Georgia man and defendant Christopher Stanton Georgia, 53.
[Image via ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images]
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