Trump’s indictment filed in a Capitol still bruised by violence

Democrats sent Donald Trump’s indictment to the US Senate on Monday evening, marking the official opening of his historic impeachment trial for “inciting insurgency” in the deadly violence perpetrated by his supporters under the same dome of the Capitol, January 6. The Senate is expected to officially summon the former US president for this trial, which will not start until February 9, however. The senators will take an oath that same day to become jurors in this doubly historic procedure: Donald Trump is the first President of the United States to fall twice under the influence of “impeachment”. Ets will be the first to be tried after leaving the White House. In solemn silence, the nine “prosecutors”, elected appointed by the Democratic President of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, crossed the long corridors adorned with statues and paintings on Monday evening, stormed by proTrump demonstrators there is less than three weeks. Then their leader, Jamie Raskin, read the indictment for “incitement to insurgency” in the Senate Chamber, his words resounding all the more forcefully as everyone here, elected officials and senators alike, were witnesses, and victims, of the violence. “Donald John Trump” incited “violence” and “seriously endangered the security of the United States and its institutions” declared the elected Democrat, citing in particular his “false declarations” denying the victory of his rival Joe Biden in the November presidential election. The Republican billionaire is accused of having incited his supporters to launch an assault on the seat of Congress while parliamentarians certified the victory of the Democrat. “You will never take back our country by being weak. You must show strength and you must be strong,” he told protesters shortly before the attack on Capitol Hill, which left five dead. A week to the day after the assault, the House of Representatives voted for his impeachment, or “impeachment,” on January 13. This violence has upset America, and pushed several big names in the Republic to denounce the behavior of the stormy billionaire. But a Senate conviction appears unlikely at this stage, with the real estate mogul, still very popular with his constituents, still counting on key supporters in the upper house. Democrats now control Congress. But their majority is extremely fragile in the Senate: they occupy 50 seats against 50 for the Republicans. In the event of a perfect tie in a vote, Vice President Kamala Harris has the power to tip the scales on the Democratic side. But they will need 67 votes to condemn Donald Trump. A goal that seems difficult to achieve. Even though the leader of the Republicans in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, has not ruled out voting for his conviction, he does not intend to influence his troops publicly. “I find this trial stupid,” Senator Marco Rubio thundered on Fox on Sunday. “The country is already in flames and it amounts to pouring oil on this fire.” Others even hope to block the holding of the trial, declaring it unconstitutional to try a former president. “Ridiculous,” retorted Senate Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Because this “theory (…) would amount to giving a constitutional privilege to all presidents.” Great critic of Donald Trump, Senator Mitt Romney is one of the few Republicans to support the procedure, without however commenting on the meaning of his vote. This ex-presidential candidate was the only Republican to condemn Mr. Trump during his first impeachment trial, in February 2020 in the Ukrainian case. The president was then acquitted. This time it is Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy, pro tempore President of the Senate, who will preside over the trial, not Supreme Court Justice John Roberts. A traditional choice for the impeachment proceedings of other officials than the President of the United States, said the senator, but which made some Republicans squeak. The postponement of the opening of the trial to February 9 is the result of an agreement between Republicans and Democrats. On the one hand, it allows more time for the Republican billionaire to prepare his defense. And on the other, to Joe Biden to put on the rails his presidency, seeing more members of his cabinet confirmed by the Senate and, he hopes for the first major bills adopted in Congress. Joe Biden has so far shown discretion regarding the impeachment process for his predecessor. “I think it has to happen,” he told CNN on Monday. Just before the ceremony, the Senate approved the appointment of Janet Yellen as Minister of Economy and Finance.

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