Chaos at the impeachment hearing: Trial against Trump is heading for a quick end

US NEWS


Update
Chaos at impeachment hearing

Trial against Trump is heading for a quick end

Is Donald Trump guilty of “inciting riot”? After brief confusion about a possible summoning of witnesses, the impeachment process against the ex-president could be nearing its end.

No witnesses are to be heard in the impeachment proceedings against former US President Donald Trump. This means that the process will continue for up to four hours with closing arguments, after which a vote on Trump’s impeachment is expected. The proceedings on Trump’s responsibility for storming the Capitol on January 6th could end on Saturday.

Previously, the parliamentary chamber had surprisingly spoken out in favor of the general possibility of hearing witnesses. It was mainly about a telephone conversation Trump with McCarthy during the storming. Prosecutors wanted to hear Republican MP Jaime Herrera Beutler on this phone call, which Trump could presumably further incriminate because of allegedly indifferent comments about the storming of the Capitol. But prosecutors Instead, a statement from her has now been brought into the evidence.

Both parties have an interest in bringing the impeachment process to a swift conclusion. The Democrats want to prevent the trial from overshadowing the start of President Joe Biden’s term and blocking the Senate. For the Republicans, a longer process does not seem desirable either – they want to start the post-Trump era.

Democratic chief prosecutor Jamie Raskin

(Photo: REUTERS)

In a closing argument in the impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump, the prosecutors have now emphatically called for the former US president to be convicted. The burden of proof of Trump’s responsibility for storming the Capitol is “overwhelming and irrefutable,” said Chief Prosecutor Jamie Raskin.

Chief instigator of the mob

The then president called the mob to Washington, poked the crowd and then started the fire, argued Raskin. Even after the storming of the parliament building began, Trump did nothing to stop the attack, Raskin added. Trump had shown no remorse, but “delighted” in the violence, he said. It is a serious disregard of his oath of office. On that day he was not the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, but the “chief instigator” of the mob, said Raskin.

Both parties have an interest in bringing the impeachment process to a swift conclusion. The Democrats want to prevent the trial from overshadowing the start of President Joe Biden’s term and blocking the Senate. For the Republicans, a longer process does not seem desirable either – they want to start the post-Trump era.

It also seems unlikely that testimony could change the minds of a large number of senators. So far it looks like an acquittal for the Republican Trump: For a conviction, 17 Republicans would have to join the 50 Democrats in the Senate, which is currently not foreseeable.

08c53a0588cd80987f6ef274f22126e7.jpg

Trump on January 6 in his address to the Capitol stormers.

(Photo: AP)

On January 6, supporters of the elected president violently stormed the Capitol. Congress met there to officially confirm the election victory of Trump’s successor Joe Biden. Five people were killed in the riots, including a police officer. Trump had stirred up his supporters immediately before that the election victory had been stolen from him. Among other things, he said: “If you don’t fight like the devil, you will have no more land.”

The Democrats accuse him of “inciting a riot” and have initiated impeachment proceedings in the House of Representatives. They also want to achieve that the ex-president is banned from future political offices at the federal level. The impeachment process is managed and decided in the Senate. The Congress Chamber takes on the role of a court. Some commentators rated the back and forth over the summoning of witnesses on Saturday as unfortunate for the Democrats, who first got testimony and eventually pulled through.

Pandora’s Box

Trump’s defense attorney Michael van der Veen had threatened to announce in the event that witnesses were summoned that he would need not just one, but “more than 100 statements”. Influential Senator Ted Cruz said the Democrats would open “Pandora’s Box” and delay the process for months.

The Republican minority leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, had informed his colleagues according to US media reports on Saturday that he wanted to vote against a condemnation of Trump. Although it was a “close decision” on the matter, he remained convinced that the constitution did not give the Senate the right to bring proceedings against an ex-president. Almost all Republicans took this view in a vote at the beginning of the process.

Fierce defense and prosecution clashes had preceded the proceedings in the past few days. Prosecutors called for Republican Trump to be convicted. Its defense, however, denied the allegations and said it was an unjust, unconstitutional and politically motivated trial. The controversial statements by Trump are covered by the right to freedom of expression.

It is the second impeachment process that Trump has to face. In the first, he had to answer in the so-called Ukraine affair for abuse of power and obstruction of congressional investigations. In February 2020, however, he was finally acquitted of all allegations by the Senate.

Share to friends
Add a comment