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House transfers Trump's article of impeachment to Senate ahead of trial

Capitol Breach Rally Organizers
Posted at 8:20 AM, Jan 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-25 19:41:41-05

On Monday evening — for the second time in just over a year — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent an article of impeachment against now-former President Donald Trump over to the Senate, marking the formal start of a trial in the Senate.

Top Democrats in the House will walked one article of impeachment through the halls of the U.S. Capitol — the same halls that were filled with violent Trump supporters just weeks ago — and deliver them to their colleagues in the Senate.

On Jan. 13, Trump became the first president in U.S. history to be impeached for a second time during his time in office. The House accused Trump of inciting the violent riots at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, which left five people dead, including a Capitol police officer.

On Friday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, said that trial proceedings would not begin until the week of Feb. 8. The delay gives the chamber time to consider the nominations for President Joe Biden's cabinet and his early policy proposals and allows Trump's lawyers to prepare his defense.

While voting on the article of impeachment broke down largely among party lines in the House, there were 10 Republicans who voted in favor of impeachment. During the first impeachment vote of the Trump presidency in 2019, no Republicans voted in favor of impeachment, and three Democrats voted against it.

While Democrats control the Senate this time around via a 50-50 tiebreak vote from Vice President Kamala Harris, Trump's conviction remains a longshot. Conviction requires support from two-thirds of Senators, meaning that 17 Republicans would need to break ranks in order for Trump to be the first president convicted in an impeachment trial.

Trump remains extremely popular in the Republican party and the face of conservative politics in America, meaning Republican senators could likely face the consequences from their constituents if they vote to convict.

Trump will be the first former president to face an impeachment trial. While removal from office is moot following the inauguration of President Joe Biden, Democrats say Trump should still be held responsible for his role in inciting riots. In the unlikely event that Trump is convicted, he may be blocked from running for president again in 2024.