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Trump’s senate impeachment trial: start time, where to watch, what to expect?

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Former President Donald Trump’s senate impeachment trial is about to start on Tuesday.

Trump lawyers in brief called the impeachment trial unconstitutional ‘political theater,’ and urged Senate to dismiss charges. Trump’s defense lawyers argued that it’s unconstitutional to hold an impeachment trial given that Trump is no longer in office.

Start time of Trump’s senate impeachment trial

The Senate has a scheduled impeachment trial to start on Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 1 p.m. EST.

Live stream of the impeachment trial: Where to watch

The Senate impeachment trial will be aired on most major TV news channels. If you don’t have cable or if you are busy traveling, here’s where you can watch the trial live on the internet for free.

Reason for Trump’s senate impeachment trial

Trump was impeached last month by House on one charge of instigating an insurrection for his part in the January 6 siege on Capitol Hill that left five people dead. Hours before a mob of his supporters attacked the legislature, the then-president told the crowd: “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”

Ten House Republicans joined every Democrat in voting to impeach Mr. Trump.

He was previously impeached on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress in 2019 over his efforts to strongarm the Ukrainian government into launching bogus political investigations while withholding military aid.

How will Trump’s senate impeachment trial continue?

The Constitution grants the Senate “the sole Power to try all Impeachments,” with a two-thirds vote required to convict. The president, vice president,  or any civil officer of the federal government may be impeached and tried. Chief Justice John Roberts presided over Trump’s first impeachment trial last year but this time, Trump being a private citizen, the president pro tempore of the Senate, Patrick Leahy will preside instead. The president pro tempore is traditionally the longest-serving member of the Senate from the majority party.

In the final vote on whether to convict Mr. Trump, all 100 senators will stand up and declare whether they believe him to be “guilty” or “not guilty.”

What will the House impeachment managers argue?

The impeachment managers argued Mr. Trump was “singularly responsible” for the January 6 attack, making the case the former president supported the attack by repeatedly declining to concede the election while promoting baseless claims about voter fraud and encouraging his supporters to challenge the results. “President Trump’s responsibility for the events of January 6 is unmistakable,” the managers said in their 80-page brief.

Who is representing Trump?

Two defense lawyers, Bruce Castor and David Schoen will be representing Trump. Schoen has a long history of working on civil rights and public interest cases and Castor is a former district attorney from Montgomery County in Pennsylvania.

They argued the trial is an unconstitutional overreach by Congress while refusing the former president incited rioters to attack the Capitol. Castor and Schoen further claimed the article of impeachment violates Mr. Trump’s right to free speech.

Will Mr. Trump testify?

Lead impeachment manager Jamie Raskin invited Trump to testify under oath, which the former president’s lawyers, Bruce Castor Jr and David Schoen, promptly rejected.

“Your letter only confirms what is known to everyone: you cannot prove your allegations against the 45th president of the United States, who is now a private citizen. The use of our Constitution to bring a purported impeachment proceeding is much too serious to try to play these games.” Trump’s lawyers wrote in response.

Will Mr. Trump be convicted?

The constitution stipulates “no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present”. The Senate is currently split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans so at least 17 Republicans would need to find Trump guilty in order for him to be convicted, assuming all senators participate.

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