Senator Patrick Leahy has the lead role in the trial
The Senate impeachment proceedings against former President Donald Trump began Tuesday. Senator Patrick Leahy, who is presiding over the trial, opened the session.
Trump’s second impeachment trial opened with a debate over whether impeachment proceedings are constitutional when dealing with a president who has already left office.
Since the process is presided over not by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who presided over the first Senate impeachment trial against Trump, but by Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy, the latter was temporarily granted the presidency in the absence of Vice President Kamala Harris (recall that the official head of the upper chamber of Congress is the Vice President).
Trump’s attorneys criticized Leahy’s appointment. “… Instead of a chief justice, the trial will be led by a senator with … biased opinions who will also serve (as) a member of the jury deciding problems that arise during the trial,” the attorneys said in a statement released Monday.
Leahy, however, promised to demonstrate complete impartiality during the trial.
Each side has four hours to address the debate.
Addressing the audience, Leahy laid out the agenda for today’s meeting, namely the constitutionality of the present trial.
The impeachment manager, Senator Jamie Raskin, who then spoke, emphasized that the indictment against the former president is entirely fact-based. According to Raskin, Trump tried to block the transfer of power, including through violent means.
In this context, the trial showed a fragment of video footage of Trump speaking to his supporters on January 6, which was followed by an attack by his supporters on the Capitol.
Recall that the House of Representatives voted last week to impeach Trump, charging him with sedition in a speech to his supporters on Jan. 6. The speech preceded an attack by Trump supporters on the Capitol that resulted in fatalities.
Meanwhile, aides to the prosecution at the trial said Tuesday that previously unknown evidence will be presented at the trial to support the prosecution’s case.
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