WATCH: Senate begins impeachment trial against former President Trump

The trial itself is not expected to yield the 67 votes necessary to convict Trump and disqualify him from future office.
Tue Feb 9, 2021 - 2:11 pm EST
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President Donald J. Trump listens to a reporter’s question during the coronavirus update briefing Monday, April 27, 2020, in the Rose Garden of the White House. Official White House Photo / Andrea Hanks/ Flickr

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 9, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Senate impeachment proceedings began Tuesday against former President Donald Trump, starting with a vote on the permissibility of impeaching someone who no longer holds the presidential office.

Scores of protesters broke into the U.S. Capitol building on January 6 after the “March to Save America” rally where Trump said supporters would march “over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard,” where “we're going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen-and-women” who were meeting to formally object to the certification of electoral votes from a handful of states.

Viral videos showed protesters engaging in physical altercations with police, pushing against security barricades, breaking through a window, trespassing in congressional offices, and climbing on walls, causing the vote certification to be suspended and lawmakers to be evacuated from the chambers. While many were let in by police and simply walked the halls after the initial breach, there were several deaths, including a protester shot by police, a protester trampled by other protesters, a police officer whose cause of death remains unknown, and others due to unspecified “medical emergencies.”

The march on the Capitol was a pre-planned part of the rally, and the violence was started by people who either left Trump’s speech early or skipped it entirely, but House Democrats quickly moved to impeach Trump for supposedly “inciting” the violence.

Tuesday’s proceedings begin with a debate over the question of whether former presidents can be impeached in the first place. Trump’s attorneys argue that the Constitution “requires that a person actually hold office to be impeached,” because one cannot be “removed from Office” if he has already vacated the office.

Democrat Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, the lead House impeachment manager, argued that this stance, which he called a “January exception” to impeachment, would constitute an “Invitation to the president to take his best shot at anything he may want to do on his way out the door.” He then played a lengthy video splicing together snippets of Trump’s remarks with various videos of the day’s events, with which conservatives quickly took issue:

In light of the Senate having already voted 55-45 against Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) motion to dismiss the impeachment as unconstitutional, Tuesday’s vote is expected to result in the impeachment trial moving forward. Because only five Republicans joined Democrats in that vote, however, the trial itself is not expected to yield the 67 votes necessary to convict Trump and disqualify him from future office.

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  capitol hill riot, democrats, donald trump, impeachment, jamie raskin, january 6, senate

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