Democrats and Trump’s lawyers make their closing arguments as the Senate ponders an ‘incitement of insurrection’ charge.
- House Democrats and Donald Trump’s defence team will make their closing arguments on Saturday on Day 5 of Trump’s historic second impeachment trial.
- Following the closing arguments, senators, who are serving as jurors in the trial, are expected to deliberate prior to voting whether to convict or acquit Trump on a charge of “inciting an insurrection” over the January 6 US Capitol riot.
- Trump is expected to be acquitted; 67 votes are needed to convict him and apart from the 50 Democrats who will vote to convict, there are only a handful of Republicans expected to vote that way, far from the 17 needed.
- Penalty for a conviction is removal from office; as Trump is already out of office, if he is convicted, senators could then vote to bar him from holding future office.
Welcome to Al Jazeera’s coverage of the impeachment trial. This is Usaid Siddiqui.
How will Republicans vote on impeachment charge?
While it is unexpected that 17 Republican senators – in addition to 50 Democrats – will vote to convict Donald Trump, there are a handful of Republicans who could break ranks and vote for conviction.
Senators Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney and Ben Sasse are frequent Trump critics and their earlier impeachment-related votes suggest they could be Republican votes against Trump. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has reportedly told his party that their votes are a vote of conscience, according to The Associated Press news agency, though he told his colleagues Saturday morning that he will vote to acquit.
Republican Senator Bill Cassidy criticised Trump’s defence team after they made their preliminary arguments on Tuesday and made positive comments about the House Democrats’ presentation. However, Cassidy was spotted on Friday holding notes that appeared to be a draft of a statement indicating he would vote to acquit.
Republican says Trump showed lack of concern during riot
During a phone call amid the January 6 US Capitol riot, Donald Trump complained to the House’s top Republican that the mob was “more upset” than Republican lawmakers were about the election’s outcome.
Republican Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler, one of 10 House Republicans to vote to impeach Trump last month, recalled the conversation between Trump and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, saying that Trump had initially said that the left-leaning Antifa movement was responsible for the riot, not Trump’s supporters, a claim that has been debunked.
“‘Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are,’” Beutler quoted Trump as telling McCarthy.