- The Senate started the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump. The trial comes a month after the House charged Trump with incitement of insurrection in connection to the 6 January attack on the Capitol. Trump is the first president in US history to be impeached twice.
- The House impeachment managers started their arguments by playing a video showing the violence and destruction of 6 January. The footage included clips of insurrectionists storming the Capitol, as well as quotes from Trump’s speech to his supporters on 6 January. “And if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country any more,” Trump said shortly before the Capitol was stormed.
- Lead impeachment manager Jamie Raskin provided an emotional account of his experience on 6 January. Raskin noted that his daughter and his son-in-law were with him at the Capitol on 6 January, which was a day after the congressman buried his son, Tommy. When Raskin was reunited with his family after the insurrection, his daughter told him, “Dad, I don’t want to come back to the Capitol.” The congressman cried as he recalled his daughter’s words.
- One of Trump’s lawyers offered a rambling opening argument on why the impeachment trial should be dismissed. Lawyer Bruce Castor acknowledged that the defense team had “changed what we were going to do on account that we thought that the House managers’ presentation was well done”.
- Trump lawyer David Schoen warned that more violence could occur if the impeachment trial moves forward. Schoen appeared to suggest that the impeachment trial could spark another civil war, saying: “This trial will tear this country apart, perhaps like we have only seen once before in American history.”
- The Senate voted 56-44 to affirm that the impeachment trial is constitutional. Republican senators Collins, Cassidy, Murkowski, Romney, Sasse, and Toomey all voted with Democrats. Senate leader Mitch McConnell, however, sided with the Trump defense on the question of constitutionality.
- Republicans were none too impressed with Trump’s defense team. Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana said of Trump’s lawyers: “They talked about many things but they didn’t talk about the issue at hand.” Cassidy had voted to dismiss the trial on 27 January, but today voted with Democrats on the question of constitutionality.
ARTICLE SOURCE: theguardian.com/