House to trigger Trump’s impeachment trial in Senate on Monday
The US House of Representatives will deliver to the Senate on Monday the article of impeachment against former president Donald Trump, triggering his trial for “incitement of insurrection”.
The trial will take place as the Senate is in the conformation process for President Joe Biden’s cabinet members.
On Friday, it confirmed Lloyd Austin as secretary of defence in a 93-2 bipartisan vote, making him the first African-American to head the Pentagon. Avril Haines, the director of national intelligence was first to be confirmed and Antony Blinken, nominee for secretary of state, will be cleared next week.
Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, announced on the floor of the Senate that the House of Representatives will transmit the article of impeachment to the Senate on Monday. Under the rules, the trial process must start the day after the formal delivery of the article of impeachment.
“There will be a trial. It will be a full trial; it will be a fair trial,” Schumer said.
Trump is the first US president to be impeached twice, and the first to be tried after leaving office. He was impeached by the House for inciting supporters to storm the US Capitol to prevent a joint session of Congress from certifying Biden’s election win.
Republicans had sought to delay the start of the trial to give Trump time to prepare. Mitch McConnell, the top Republican who is now the Senate minority leader, had proposed a timeline that started next week and gave Trump two weeks to put together his defence after that.
A two-third super-majority is needed for the 100-member Senate to convict a president. The current chamber is evenly split 50-50. All 50 Democrats are expected to vote to convict Trump, but 17 Republicans will have to vote with the Democrats for a conviction to go through.
McConnell and some Republicans have indicated they were open to listening to arguments in favour of convicting Trump, a fellow Republican they had voted to acquit the last time.
A conviction would have led to Trump’s removal from office if he was still president. Now, if it happens, it will prevent him from holding any federal office, ruling out another run for the White House, which he and his aides had indicated he might do in 2024.
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- The phone call was the first formal contact between Jaishankar and Wang since they met on the margins of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting in Moscow on September 10 last year.