In the US Senate, the indictment for the second impeachment proceedings against former President Donald Trump has been read out. A head of proceedings is next appointed.
Shortly before, on Monday (local time), the prosecution had brought the indictment alleging “incitement to riot” in a procession from the House of Representatives to the Senate.
The Democrats want to hold Trump accountable for his supporters’ attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6. His term of office has already expired, but the proceedings could result in a life-long ban from office at the federal level if convicted. That would undo any plans of Trump to run for the presidency again in 2024.
Next step: swearing in senators
Before the impeachment proceedings actually begin in the second week of February, the chairman of the proceedings is to be sworn in on Tuesday, who in turn takes the oath from the 100 senators. The senators take the role of jury in the process and make the final decision.
CNN reported that the senior senator, Democrat Patrick Leahy, would presumably lead the case, not the presiding judge of the Supreme Court, John Roberts. Under the Rules of Procedure, the presiding judge in the Supreme Court directs impeachment proceedings against the US President in the Senate. CNN reported on Monday that since Trump is no longer president, Leahy is likely to be a senator.
The reading of the indictment, the swearing in of the chairman and senators as well as initial statements by the defendant and the prosecutor are part of the preparations for the trial, according to the US Congress Research Service (CRS). The actual start of the proceedings is marked by the opening speech of the House of Representatives, followed by that of the defense.