February 27, 2021

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Arguments to begin in Trump Senate impeachment trial: Live

4 min read

Trump is accused of ‘incitement of insurrection’ for his words and actions preceding the deadly US Capitol riot.

  • The first full day of arguments in the Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump will begin on at 12:00 ET (17:00 GMT) on Wednesday.
  • Tuesday’s proceedings focused on the constitutionality of holding impeachment proceedings for a former president, with the Senate voting 56-44 that the trial is legal.
  • The prosecution and defence will now have 16 hours each to present their case, with House impeachment managers going first.
  • They will argue that Trump’s campaign of misinformation to overturn the victory of President Joe Biden, and his comments to supporters before the US Capitol riot on January 6, amounted to ‘incitement of insurrection’.
  • After arguing that a president cannot be convicted in the Senate after leaving office, the defence is expected to focus on the argument that Trump’s statements are protected as free speech.

Welcome to Al Jazeera’s coverage of the impeachment trial. This is Joseph Stepansky.

44 mins ago (15:29 GMT)

Democratic impeachment managers to show unreleased riot footage

House impeachment managers, who ran a graphic 13-minute video of Trump’s January 6 remarks mixed with social media footage of the US Capitol rioters, will show unreleased footage from Capitol security cameras on Wednesday, reports The Associated Press news agency.

The goal: to show “just how close Trump’s mob came to senators, members of Congress and staff”, a Democratic source told PBS.

The Democratic impeachment managers will argue their case over the next two days before Trump’s legal team offers their defence on Friday and Saturday.

45 mins ago (15:28 GMT)

Who’s who in Trump’s impeachment

Nine impeachment managers, serving as prosecutors, will give up to 16 hours of arguments connecting Trump’s statements attempt to overturn the election results to the deadly violence at the US Capitol on January 6.

Meanwhile, Trump’s defence, led by a former district attorney from Pennsylvania and a former lawyer for Trump ally Roger Stone, will argue that the president statements were protected as freedom of speech and were not directly connected to the violence.

Senators will serve as jurors. Democrats and Republicans currently hold 50 seats each in the 100-member chamber. A two-third majority is required to convict.

Here are the key players in Trump’s impeachment.

50 mins ago (15:23 GMT)

Recap of Tuesday’s proceedings

House managers on Tuesday argued that the majority constitutional scholars believe that a former president can face an impeachment trial.

Their arguments included a video montage of violence at the US Capitol on January 6 intercut with Trump’s baseless claims the election had been “stolen” from voters.

Lead impeachment manager Jamie Raskin gave an emotional account of his daughter visiting the Capitol on the day of the riot, a day after the family had buried his son.

Trump’s defence, meanwhile, focused on the minority of scholars who say a president cannot face impeachment after leaving office, and sought to portray the proceedings as a misguided effort to prevent Trump from running again in 2024.

Catch up on yesterday’s events here.

Billboard trucks parked on the National Mall near the US Capitol during the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump in Washington, DC [Jose Luis Magana/AP Photo]

1 hour ago (15:12 GMT)

Trump livid at lawyers’ performance, but outcome unlikely to change

Trump, who watched the impeachment trial on Tuesday from his home in Palm Beach, Florida, was furious at his lawyers’ presentations, the AP reports, citing a person familiar with his thinking.

Yet their widely panned performance, particularly that of former Pennsylvania district attorney Bruce Castor, which was also criticised by Senate Republicans, will almost certainly not result in an unexpected conviction of the former president.

“The internal politics of the Republican Party, the politics of Republican primary elections for the United States Senate in the future, and the politics of the upcoming contest for the next presidential nomination make it virtually impossible that enough Republicans would side with the Democrats, regardless of the quality of the evidence and regardless of the performance of the president’s representation in the Senate trial,” Joseph Ura, a political science professor at Texas A&M University, told Al Jazeera.

“I think this is a case where the result is by and large predetermined by the partisanship of the folks voting there.”

Trump defence lawyer Bruce Castor gave meandering opening remarks in the impeachment trial of Donald Trump that were criticised by Republicans and reportedly enraged the former president [Reuters]


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