Former President Donald Trump is the only president to be impeached twice. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.
WASHINGTON — The second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump is set to begin Tuesday, when the Senate will start hearing arguments over whether Trump should be convicted of inciting the violent mob that lay siege to the Capitol.
So far, no Senate Republican has outright backed a vote to convict Trump, and many have questioned whether the Senate should be conducting an impeachment trial of an ex-president.
Nine House Democrats have been tasked as impeachment managers, essentially prosecutors in outlining the case against Trump.
They’ll present that case to a chamber that’s evenly divided among 48 Democrats, two independents who usually vote with them, and 50 Republicans. All but five of the Republicans voted last month to declare the trial unconstitutional.
At least 17 Republican senators would need to join all 48 Democrats and the two independents to convict Trump, a vote that requires a two-thirds majority. Given the overwhelming vote to label the trial unconstitutional, the House impeachment managers appear to have a tough job at hand.
The five Republicans who did not support the procedural motion last month to declare the impeachment trial unconstitutional were Sens. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania; Susan Collins of Maine; Lisa Murkowski of Alaska; Mitt Romney of Utah; and Ben Sasse of Nebraska.
In the pretrial briefs, Trump’s attorneys denied that he was responsible for the attack and argued he cannot be tried in the Senate because he has left office. Previewing their arguments, a filing from House Democrats argues that Trump violated his oath of office, and “betrayed the American people.”
The impeachment charge against Trump was passed in the House with support from every Democrat and 10 Republicans.
It’s not yet clear how long the trial will take before senators vote on whether to convict, but it is expected to last through at least the rest of the week.
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