2021-02-09 06:28:34 | what you need to know about the Senate trial


Story by: Verity Bowman The Telegraph

Donald Trump’s defence

Mr Trump’s lawyers filed a 78-page response accusing Democrats of “political theatre,” calling his trial unconstitutional, and saying he was not responsible for the actions of a “small group of criminals”.

They said he had been exercising his First Amendment right to free speech by raising “electoral integrity issues essential to his career”.

Mr Trump’s defence fell into disarray when five of his lawyers dropped out. The former president scrambled to assemble a new team before the deadline, in order to submit a formal response to the summons to trial.

His new team, led by lawyers David Schoen and Bruce Castor, did not have long to get ready before the trial. 

Will Donald Trump testify?

No. The former president’s team have rejected a call from Democrats that Mr Trump appears at the trial to give evidence under oath, calling the request a “publicity stunt”.

What are Donald Trump’s chances?

Democrats seeking his conviction on one count of “incitement of insurrection” face an uphill climb. Currently, the Senate is split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans.

The backing of 67 senators is needed for conviction, meaning 17 Republicans would have to turn on Mr Trump. 

Republicans have backed the proceedings in the past. During the House vote, on Jan 13, 10 Republicans voted for impeachment and the article carried by 232 votes to 197.

But although many struggled over how to respond to Mr Trump’s role, and his failure to try and quell the violence, most Republicans senators are lining up against conviction.

While few defend his actions, many argue that Congress does not have the power to impeach a former president. They also maintain that another trial will hurt efforts to unify the country in the post-Trump era.

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Republican senators have rallied around Mr Trump calling the trial unnecessary, and making clear it would end in acquittal.

Read more: Conviction in Senate unlikely as ex-president proves too popular to purge


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Source References: The Telegraph

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