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Trump's impeachment will be opened urgently and quickly

 Donald Trump's historic second impeachment trial begins this week with a sense of urgency, from Democrats who want to hold the former president accountable for the violent siege of the U.S. Capitol and Republicans who want it to end as quickly as possible.

Scheduled to begin Tuesday, just over a month since the deadly riot, the proceedings are expected to differ from the lengthy and complicated trial that resulted in Trump's acquittal a year ago on charges that he privately pressured Ukraine to investigate a Democratic rival. Joe Biden, now president. This time, Trump's January 6 cry of protest to "fight like hell" and the assault on the Capitol were played out for the world to see. While Trump could be acquitted again, the trial could end in half the time.

Trump's impeachment will be opened urgently and quickly

Senate leaders are still negotiating the details of the proceedings, and the length of opening arguments, questions from senators and deliberations are up for debate.

So far, it appears that there will be few witnesses called, as prosecutors and defense attorneys speak directly to senators who have sworn to provide "fair justice" as jurors. Most are also witnesses to the siege, having fled for safety that day when the rioters stormed the Capitol and temporarily halted the electoral count certifying Biden's victory.

Trump's defense attorneys turned down a request for him to testify. Locked up in his Mar-a-Lago club, the former president has been silenced on social media by Twitter without public comment since he left the White House.

Instead, the House managers prosecuting the case are expected to rely on the trove of videos of the siege, along with the incendiary rhetoric of Trump refusing to concede the election, to defend his case. His new defense team has said that he plans to counter with his own cache of videos of Democratic politicians making fiery speeches.

"We have the unusual circumstance that, on the first day of the trial, when those managers walk the Senate floor, there will already be over 100 witnesses present," said Rep. Adam Schiff, D-California, who led the first impeachment trial of Trump. "If you need additional witnesses it will be a strategic decision."

Trump is the first president to be indicted twice and the only one to face trial after leaving the White House. The Democratic-led House passed a single charge, "Incitement to Insurrection," acting swiftly one week after the riot, the most violent attack on Congress in more than 200 years. Five people died, including a woman shot by police inside the building and a police officer who died of injuries the next day.

Democrats argue that it is not just about getting a conviction, but about holding the former president accountable for his actions, even if he is out of office. For Republicans, the trial will test his political loyalty to Trump and his enduring control over the Republican Party.

Initially disgusted by the graphic images of the siege, Republican senators, including Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, denounced the violence and pointed the finger at Trump. But in recent weeks, Republican senators have rallied around Trump, arguing that his comments do not hold him responsible for the violence. They question the legitimacy of even bringing a trial of someone who is no longer in office.

On Sunday, Republican Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi described Trump's impeachment as a "partisan exercise in meaningless messaging." Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky called the process a sham with "zero chance of conviction" and described Trump's protest language and words as "figurative" speech.

Senators were sworn in as jurors late last month, shortly after Biden's inauguration, but trial proceedings were delayed as Democrats focused on confirming the new president's initial cabinet elections and Republicans sought put as much distance as possible from the bloody mutiny.

At the time, Paul forced a vote to overturn the trial as unconstitutional because Trump is no longer in office, drawing 44 other Republicans to his argument.

A prominent conservative attorney, Charles Cooper, rejects that view, writing in a Wall Street Journal op-ed on Sunday that the Constitution allows the Senate to try a former official, a significant counterpoint to that of Republican senators who have watched. toward acquittal by moving forward constitutionally. claim (es.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, one of Trump's ardent supporters, said he believes Trump's actions were wrong and that he will `` have a place in history for all of this, '' but insisted that it is not. Senate task to judge.

"It's not a question of how the trial ends, it is a question of when it ends," Graham said. "Republicans are going to see this as an unconstitutional exercise, and the only question is, will they call witnesses? How long will the trial last? But the result is really not in doubt. "

But 45 votes in favor of Paul's measure suggested the near impossibility of reaching a conviction in a Senate where Democrats have 50 seats, but it would take two-thirds of the votes, or 67 senators, to convict Trump. Only five Republican senators joined Democrats in rejecting Paul's motion: Mit

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