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Senate Moves on with Impeachment

Donald Trump’s historic second impeachment trial opened Tuesday with graphic video showing the former president whipping up a rally crowd to march to the Capitol and “fight like hell” against his reelection defeat, followed by images of the deadly attack on Congress that came soon after.

In an early test of the former president’s defense, Trump’s team lost a crucial bid to halt the trial on constitutional grounds. Senators confirmed, 56-44, their jurisdiction over the trial, the first of a president no longer in office. While six Republican senators joined the Democrats in proceeding, the tally showed how far prosecutors have to go to win conviction, which requires a two-thirds threshold of 67 senators.

Tuesday’s vote was on whether a former president could be tried after leaving office.

House Democrats prosecuting the case told senators they were presenting “cold, hard facts” against Trump, who is charged with inciting the mob siege of the Capitol to overturn the election he lost to Democrat Joe Biden.

Senators sitting as jurors, many who themselves fled for safety that day, watched the jarring video of Trump supporters battling past police to storm the halls, Trump flags waving.

“That’s a high crime and misdemeanor,” declared Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., in opening remarks. “If that’s not an impeachable offense, then there’s no such thing.”

Trump is the first president to face impeachment charges after leaving office and the first to be twice impeached. The Capitol siege stunned the world as rioters ransacked the building to try to stop the certification of Biden’s victory, a domestic attack on the nation’s seat of government unlike any in its history. Five people died.

The Capitol siege stunned the world as hundreds of rioters ransacked the building to try to stop the certification of Biden’s victory, a domestic attack on the nation’s seat of government unlike any in its history. Five people died.

 

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