Former US President, Donald Trump’s impeachment trial is all set to start after 6 Republican senators broke with their party on Tuesday, February 9, and voted with 50 Democrats to proceed with the trial, terming it ‘constitutional’.
Trump is accused of inciting his supporters ahead of a deadly riot at the US Capitol on 6 January, 2021 after failing to accept electoral loss to Joe Biden.
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Seventeen Republicans will need to turn against their former president to convict him, a rarity at the moment.
Trump’s defence lawyers argued it was unconstitutional to put a private citizen through an impeachment process, saying Democrats are acting out of spite because they wanna remove a political rival.
The Republican senators who voted in favour of starting the trial of Trump include Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Mitt Romney of Utah.
Bill Cassidyl had previously voted to dismiss the trial but says the House prosecutors made “very good arguments”, noting he’d always planned to approach the trial “with an open mind” and as an “impartial juror”.
Once the trial starts, there will be four days of arguments followed by Senate questions and witnesses(if allowed)
Since just six Republicans sided with all 50 Democrats to proceed, it means there are 44 Republican senators who think there should be no trial at all.
17 Republicans will be needed to convict Trump and stop him from contesting for a public post in the future.
So if there aren’t 17 Republicans who think there should be a trial at all, it means the trial will not result in the conviction of Trump.