About a month after rioters broke into the Senate Hall in an unprecedented onslaught on Capitol Hill, the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump began, accused of incitement that led to a burglary that resulted in five casualties. Today (Friday) was the stage for presenting the arguments of Trump’s lawyers.
His lawyers accused the Democrats of double standards in prosecuting Trump for incitement, because they used the word “war” themselves. “This unprecedented effort has nothing to do with Democrats opposing political violence,” Trump’s attorney, Michael van der Wein, said some Democrats “encouraged and supported” the violence that erupted in anti-racism demonstrations across the United States last summer without facing legal repercussions.
Trump’s team played a 10-minute video showing prominent Democrats, including Vice President Camela Harris, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other party figures using the word “fight” in political speeches.
“You did nothing wrong,” Trump’s attorney David Sean told Democrats, adding, “It’s a word people use, but please stop the hypocrisy.” Trump’s lawyers also argued that his remarks were protected by the First Amendment to the US Constitution, which guarantees the right to freedom of expression.
As stated, the defense trial came after two days of arguments by the nine Democrats serving as plaintiffs. During the trial, they showed videos of the former Republican president encouraging violence at his rallies, reiterating his allegations of election fraud and calling on his supporters to convene in Washington on January 6, when Congress convenes to officially confirm President Joe Biden’s election victory.
Last month, Trump became the first president in history to be ousted twice by the House of Representatives, with 232 deputies, including ten Republicans, voting in favor of dismissing the incitement to violence over the January 6 rally of Capitol Hill against 197 Republican deputies.
Although Trump has ended his term, Democrats have made it clear that they are determined to continue the proceedings with the Senate impeachment trial, and President Joe Biden has also made it clear that there is no escape from the procedure. To convict Trump, and also prevent him from running for president in 2024, would require a two-thirds majority in the Senate.
It is still unclear how long the trial will last, but both parties have not hidden their desire for it to be shorter than last year’s three-week dismissal trial. Democrats want to quickly return to approving the Biden administration’s appointments and passing the government assistance program in the face of the corona plague, while Republicans want to put the affair behind them and not focus on the party’s internal disputes over the former president’s performance.
Source: Maariv.co.il – חדשות מהארץ והעולם by www.maariv.co.il.
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