Senate says trial is constitutional and can go-ahead
February 10, 2021 1:19 pm
The former president is accused of inciting violence at the US Capitol last month. [Source: BBC]
The US Senate has found that the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump is constitutional, allowing full proceedings to begin.
Trump’s defence team argued that he cannot face trial after leaving the White House.
But a 56-44 majority voted in favour of continuing, with a handful of Republicans backing the measure.
Trump is accused of “inciting insurrection” when Congress was stormed last month.
Democrats prosecuting the case opened today’s proceedings by showing a video montage of Trump’s 6 January speech and the deadly rioting by some of his supporters.
Lawyer for the former president Bruce Castor Jr argued it was unconstitutional to put a former president through the process at all and accused Democrats of being politically motivated.
“I don’t know at the top of my head but each one of them wants there was a vacuum created that the greatest deliberative bodies the Senate of Greece sitting in Athens the Senate of Rome.”
The 56-44 split means six Republicans joined Democrats in voting to go ahead with the trial.
Although this shows some bipartisanship, this result implies loyalty toward the former president in his party remains high enough to avoid a conviction.