The historic second impeachment trial of Trump began last Tuesday and was unprecedentedly swift. The previous trial against Trump lasted 21 days and also ended with acquittal. This time, too, it was clear from the start that there was not enough support among the Republican senators to convict their party colleague Trump.
The trial of Trump, who did not witness himself, came in the wake of his supporters storming the parliament building. He was accused of inciting his supporters. Trump insisted after his election defeat that he lost to Democrat Joe Biden through fraud. Five people were killed when protesters stormed the Capitol when the election results there were approved on January 6.
Lawyers for the former president argued that Trump had not invited anyone to do anything criminal. They felt that their client could not be held responsible for the behavior of a “small group of criminals”. This detachment was a complete charade from start to finish. Michael van der Vein, the defense attorney, said the whole scene was nothing more than a sad quest for a long-running political vendetta against Trump by the opposition party. Moreover, according to attorneys, the Senate had no authority to prosecute a former president.
It is against the constitution
Many Republicans supported the latter argument. A proposal to make the process unconstitutional was endorsed by 45 of Trump’s 50 senators last month. This means that the two-thirds majority required to convict the former president seemed out of reach even before the trial began.
Although Republicans also responded with indignation to the deadly riots, support for Trump’s trial came mainly from the Democratic camp. They could no longer impeach Trump, but the Senate could have decided in a separate vote that he should not be president in the future.
It was unclear that the trial against Trump would reach its climax on Saturday. Then prosecutors announced that they wanted Republican Representative Jaime Herrera Butler to be called as a witness. It is said that she heard from the leader of the Republican faction in the House, Kevin McCarthy, that Trump refused to help Congress during the storm.
Summoning Herrera Butler as a witness would have slowed things down considerably. Prosecutors and the Trump team eventually reached an agreement barring the trial from continuing. A statement from the Republican politician was entered as evidence without having to testify.
Trump’s trial was historic for several reasons. It is the shortest presidential impeachment case in the history of the United States. Trump is also listed in the history books as the first president to face such a measure twice. The fact that the Senate trial took place after he left the White House was also unique.
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