What Would It Have Taken To Convict Trump
It takes a two-thirds vote of the chamber to convict an impeached president. Thats a far higher threshold than an ordinary vote, and even the typical supermajority requirement in the Senate. And it has never happened in US history .
There are currently 53 Republican senators, so removing Trump would have taken 20 of them to defect. In the end, only Romney voted to convict .
Impeachment has polled moderately well, and Trump is moderately unpopular. But to inspire mass defections from Senate Republicans, the landscape would need to have been overwhelmingly in favor of impeachment.
Schiff Says He Hopes Vote To Consider Witnesses Will Inspire Republicans To Come Forward
Congressman Adam Schiff, a Democrat from California who was the lead impeachment manager during the first impeachment proceedings involving Mr. Trump, said he hopes more Republicans who have information about the former president’s conduct on January 6 come forward and make themselves available to testify.
In an interview with CBS News, Schiff recalled a similar occurrence in last year’s proceeding, where a witness came forward after watching the hearings in the House to provide relevant information.
“That could very well happen here,” he said.
The California Democrat said calling new witnesses “opens the door for discovery of new information.”
Schiff also said Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler, who the House managers said they want to subpoena, would be a “low-risk” witness for the Democrats, but warned House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy could present more challenges.
Schiff cited McCarthy’s recent trip to Florida, during which he met with Mr. Trump at Mar-a-Lago and discussed Republicans regaining the House majority in 2022, and said McCarthy made it clear the GOP is relying on the president to help deliver them victories in the next election.
“Is that the kind of witness with those kinds of incentives that you want to rely on to be candid?” he said. “And I don’t think that McCarthy has a reputation for candor, so that’s very risky. Whether he will dispute the account of Congresswoman Beutler or add other things to the conversation, you just don’t know.”
Trump Is Monitoring Impeachment Debate From The White House
As lawmakers debate whether to impeach Trump for an unprecedented second time, the outgoing president is monitoring from the White House Oval Office and the dining room, an administration official told NBC News.
Trump has hardly appeared in public since the riots last week, and has not been able to use his Twitter feed since the social media company suspended his account. The White House put out a statement under Trump’s name earlier in the day urging his supporters to be peaceful.
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Trial Memoranda And Responses
Under an agreement between Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell, the pre-trial briefing schedule was set.
House’s brief, Trump’s answer, House’s replication
|This section needs expansionwith: Commentary on the House’s replication for complete representation. You can help by adding to it.|
The House of Representatives, through the nine Democratic impeachment managers, filed an 80-page pretrial brief on February 2. The detailed brief stated that Trump was “singularly responsible” for the violent attack on the Capitol on January 6, citing his preceding campaign to undermine democracy and overthrow the election, and argued that acquitting Trump and failing to disqualify him from future office would gravely harm the nation, stating: “President Trump has demonstrated beyond doubt that he will resort to any method to maintain or reassert his grip on power. A president who violently attacks the democratic process has no right to participate in it.”
The House submitted its replication to Trump’s answer on February 8.
Trump’s brief, House’s reply
|This section needs expansionwith: Commentary on the House’s reply for complete representation. You can help by adding to it.|
The House submitted its reply memorandum on February 9, 2021.
Aoc: ‘i Thought I Was Going To Die’ During Capitol Invasion
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said she “had a very close encounter where I thought I was going to die” during the Capitol riot.
“I did not know if I was going to make it to the end of the day alive,” Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said during a livestream Tuesday night from her Instagram account detailing the invasion by a mob of supporters of President Donald Trump.
The congresswoman, who represents a district that covers parts of New York City’s Queens and Bronx boroughs, did not give details of the incident that she described to more than 100,000 Instagram followers.
But she said that during the chaos “I did not even feel safe around other members of Congress” who have endorsed the QAnon conspiracy theory.
Ocasio-Cortez said that when she and other representatives gathered at an “extraction point” where they were to be taken to a secure location, she was worried because she saw rioters who appeared to be motivated by the QAnon hoax, and other Republican representatives who believed that theory.
“I don’t want to hear the Republican Party talk about ‘blue lives’ again,” she said, referring to the motto “Blue Lives Matter” used by supporters of police against “Black Lives Matter” protesters.
“They don’t give a damn about order. They don’t give a damn about safety. They care about White supremacy,” she said about Republicans who have sought to undo Joe Biden’s election as president. “They have a lust for power more than they care about democracy.”
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Rand Paul’s Point Of Order To Dismiss
On January 26, Republican Senator Rand Paul forced a vote to dismiss the impeachment charge, on the basis that it was unconstitutional to try a past president. The motion was defeated 5545, with all Democrats, both the independents, and five Republicans voting against the motion. The vote was seen as a “test vote” and was viewed as a strong indication that the Senate would not reach the two-thirds majority required to convict Trump.
What Was Trump Charged With
Impeachment charges are political, not criminal. The president was accused by the House of inciting the storming of the Capitol – the seat of the US Congress – with a speech on 6 January to supporters outside the White House.
He urged them to “peacefully and patriotically” make their voices heard, but also to “fight like hell” against an election that he falsely told them had been stolen.
Following Mr Trump’s remarks, his supporters broke into the Capitol, forcing lawmakers to suspend certification of election results and take shelter. The building was placed on lockdown and five people died in the melee.
The article of impeachment stated that Mr Trump “repeatedly issued false statements asserting that the presidential election results were fraudulent and should not be accepted”.
It says he then repeated these claims and “wilfully made statements to the crowd that encouraged and foreseeably resulted in lawless action at the Capitol”, leading to the violence and loss of life.
“President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of government, threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperilled a coequal branch of government.”
Last week, 139 Republicans voted against accepting the result of the 2020 election and Mr Trump’s defeat.
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Is This The End Of The Matter
Mr Trump has probably not heard the last of the Ukraine investigation.
Jerry Nadler, the Democratic chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said on Wednesday the chamber would “likely” issue a subpoena to Mr Trump’s former National Security Adviser, John Bolton.
Senate Republicans ultimately declined to seek Mr Bolton’s testimony during the president’s impeachment trial, provoking uproar from Democrats.
A manuscript of a forthcoming Bolton memoir reportedly alleges Mr Trump told his former national security adviser to help him pressure Ukraine.
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Pm Pelosi Recites The Pledge Of Allegiance Emphasizing The Words To The Republic For Which It Stands
Pelosi calls on members of the House to consider the promise they made when they took office and when they recite the Pledge of Allegiance to act to uphold American laws and values.
Every one of us, as our first act as a member of Congress, stood on this historic House floor before our beautiful American flag and raised our hands in this sacred oath: I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, so help me God,’ she said.
She recites the section from the Pledge of Allegiance that reads to the Republic for which it stands, adding, a Republic, if you can keep it citing a quote attributed to Benjamin Franklin.
As Speaker of the House, I solemnly and sadly open the debate on the impeachment of the president of the United States, she says.
He gave us no choice, she says, saying President Trump represents a continuing threat.
She argues that Trumps actions have been contrary to the Constitution, even citing his comments that Article II means he can do whatever I want.
What we are discussing today is the established fact that the president violated the Constitution. It is a matter of fact that the president is an ongoing threat to our national security and the integrity of our elections, the basis of our democracy, Pelosi said.
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How Did Democrats React
Democrats expressed concern that acquittal would further embolden a president whom they depict as a demagogue.
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Mr Trump remains “an ongoing threat to American democracy” and that Senate Republicans had “normalised lawlessness”
- Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said there will always be “a giant asterisk next to the president’s acquittal”
- “No doubt, the president will boast he received total exoneration,” said the New York senator. “But we know better.”
Trump’s Lawyer Suggests Pelosi Harris Be Deposed In Philadelphia
Michael van der Veen elicited laughter from senators when he suggested that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Kamala Harris should be among those deposed as part of the impeachment trial, and they should have to appear in-person at his office in Philadelphia.
“None of these depositions should be done by Zoom,” he said. “We didn’t do this hearing by Zoom.”
As laughter rang out in the chamber in response to his suggestion Pelosi and Harris have their depositions taken in Pennsylvania, van der Veen grew more incredulous.
“I don’t know how many civil lawyers are here, but that’s the way it works, folks. When you want somebody’s deposition you send a notice of deposition and they appear at the place where the notice says. That’s civil process,” he said. “I don’t know why you’re laughing.”
WATCH: Laughter breaks out in the Senate Chamber after Trump attorney Michael van der Veen insists that any impeachment trial depositions should be done in person in his office in Philadelphia
“I don’t know why you’re laughing,” he says
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Trump’s Attorneys Close Out Their Case
As he started out his closing statement, Trump attorney Michael van der Veen said the former president’s team does not stipulate the truthfulness of the statement from Jaime Herrea Beutler.
Van der Veen then resorted to attacking the House impeachment managers, falsely claiming they never mentioned the Constitution and distorted evidence.
Van der Veen insisted that no one could have interpreted Mr. Trump’s January 6 speech as anything other than peaceful. He also suggested that some of the people who attacked the Capitol were already at the Capitol when Mr. Trump was speaking.
He claimed the protesters “hijacked” the event for their own purposes, even though those who stormed the Capitol have identified themselves as Trump supporters.
Van der Veen said the entire impeachment has been a “charade” from beginning to end.
“You do not have to indulge the impeachment lust, the dishonesty and the hypocrisy,” van der Veen said.
Where Does The Senate Come In
The Senate is tasked with handling the impeachment trial, which is presided over by the chief justice of the United States in the case of sitting presidents. However, in this unusual case, since Trump is not a sitting president, the largely ceremonial task has been left to the Senate pro tempore, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the chamber’s most senior member of the majority party.
“The president pro tempore has historically presided over Senate impeachment trials of non-presidents,” Leahy said in a statement in January. “When presiding over an impeachment trial, the president pro tempore takes an additional special oath to do impartial justice according to the Constitution and the laws. It is an oath that I take extraordinarily seriously.”
To remove a president from office, two-thirds of the members must vote in favor at present 67 if all 100 senators are present and voting.
If the Senate fails to convict, a president is considered impeached but is not removed, as was the case with both Clinton in 1998 and Andrew Johnson in 1868. In Johnsons case, the Senate fell one vote short of removing him from office on all three counts.
In this trial, since the president has already left office, the real punishment would come if the president were to be convicted, when the Senate would be expected to vote on a motion to ban the former president from ever holding federal office again.
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Senate Agrees To Add A News Article To The Record Will Not Hear From Witnesses
After two hours of chaos when the Senate unexpectedly voted to call witnesses in the impeachment trial, Trump attorney Bruce Castor announced that impeachment managers had agreed to a deal to include a statement in the record instead of deposing any witnesses. Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler said in a statement on Friday that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had relayed a conversation he had with Mr. Trump on January 6 with her, where Mr. Trump said that the rioters who stormed the Capitol “are more upset about the election than you are.”
Castor said that if Herrera Beutler were to testify under oath, her testimony would be consistent with the statement she issued on Friday. Impeachment manager Jamie Raskin read Herrera Beutler’s statement, and asked that it be included in the record.
“Senators, Donald John Trump by his counsel is prepared to stipulate that if Herrera Beutler were to testify under oath as part of these proceedings, her testimony would be consistent with the statement she issued on February 12, 2021 and the former president’s counsel is agreeable to the admission of that public statement into evidence at this time,” Castor said.
In entering the statement into the record, no witnesses will be called and there are no additional motions to be considered. The proceedings are now moving to closing arguments, for which each side has up to two hours.
Grace Segers and Melissa Quinn