DONALD Trump’s second impeachment trial will go ahead after a 56-44 Senate vote on Tuesday afternoon – but acquittal appears certain.
Trump faces a single charge of incitement to insurrection after he told a crowd to “fight like hell” for his presidency shortly before a large mob stormed the Capitol in violent scenes that resulted in multiple deaths.
Trump is the first president in history to face charges after leaving office, but prosecutors insist the nature of his alleged “most grievous constitutional crime” demands his conviction post-presidency.
But his team of advisors appear furious with the defence his lawyer Bruce Castor put forward during a bizarre 48-minutes in the Senate yesterday.
After anonymous reports that Trump himself was left “beyond angry” at Castor’s performance, several key allies have come out to question it too.
Alan Dershowitz, who defended Mr Trump in his first impeachment trial last year, said he could not understand what Mr Castor had been hoping to achieve.
“There is no argument. I have no idea what he’s doing. I have no idea why he’s saying what he’s saying,” the high-profile lawyer told conservative TV channel Newsmax.
Staunch Trump ally Ted Cruz said Mr Castor and Mr Schoen had not done “the most effective job”, while Senator John Cornyn, who voted to dismiss the trial, said Mr Castor “just rambled on and on and didn’t really address the constitutional argument”.
“I’ve seen a lot of lawyers and a lot of arguments and that was not one of the finest I’ve seen,” he added.
And Bill Cassidy, a Republican senator who voted to go ahead with the trial, said the lawyers had done a “terrible job”.
Follow our Donald Trump live blog below for up to the minute updates on the impeachment...
DONALD TRUMP INCENSED BY LAWYERS’ PERFORMANCE
Ex-president Donald Trump was said to be so incensed by his lawyers’ performance that he screamed at his TV as he watched yesterday’s impeachment trial proceedings, say reports.
The Democrats face a “huge challenge” to convict him, says CNN.
They will present their case over an eight-hour long session today, which will include more video footage of the Capitol riot.
This will continue for another eight hours on Thursday, before Trump’s lawyers begin their presentation on Friday.
A ‘DEVASTATING’ CASE AGAINST TRUMP
Democratic aides working on the impeachment team said they have a ‘devastating’ case against the former president, and that they will prosecute it like a criminal trial, according to sources.
The arguments on Wednesday will come from the nine Democratic impeachment managers for the House.
But they have a very tough – some might say impossible – task, trying to convince skeptical Republicans that Donald Trump alone was responsible for inciting his mob of supporters.
CAPITOL RIOTERS ‘JERKS’ – SARAH PALIN
Trump supporter Sarah Palin says the January 6 rioters in Washington D.C. planned “to storm the capitol, and be jerks”.
The former Alaska governor argued with the UK’s Piers Morgan on live TV over who was to blame for the deadly insurrection.
Morgan pointed out that Trump, ever since losing the election, “had perpetuated an absolute lie about widespread fraud, which has never been proven at all.
“He whipped his mob into a frenzy, he told them to ‘stop the steal’ and as the elected members of Congress were actually ratifying the election, he ordered them to march down to the capital and stop the steal.
“It sounded to me like the president wanted to stop the democratic election being ratified. That I’m afraid is a criminal action isn’t it?” An unimpressed Palin replied yesterday: “Why are you generalising?”
SARAH PALIN: RIOTERS TO BLAME FOR ACTIONS, NOT TRUMP
Sarah Palin has said that the Capitol rioters were “blaming the president for their own actions”.
She told Piers Morgan in the UK yesterday: “I think that’s a symptom of a societal problem where people just cannot take responsibility for their stupid and criminal act.”
When told on Good Morning Britain that Donald Trump had told those rallying that he would walk with them to the Capitol and urged them to show strength, Palin replied: “He never said go out and break laws, act like idiots, vandalize the people’s house – he didn’t say anything of the sort.”
The former Alaska governor said it was “bull” that Trump had instigated or encouraged “criminal activity”.
She added: “Those who were rioters – and they were horrible – they were there already, they were standing at the back of the rally, rooting on patriotically the president’s speech, no, they knew what they were going to do.”
While Owens believes Trump’s trial is not motivated by the insurrection last month, Democratic impeachment managers argue that the former president incited the deadly riot.
In an 80-page brief laying out their case, Democrats accused Trump of trying to “extend his grip on power by fomenting violence against Congress.”
Trump’s lawyers David Schoen and Bruce Castor argued that there is no legal justification to have an impeachment trial for a president who is no longer in office.
During the trial, Schoen played a video montage of Democrats calling for Trump’s impeachment from the very start of his presidency.
“In this unprecedented snap impeachment process,” Schoen said.
Conservative political commentator Candace Owens on Tuesday afternoon ripped ex-President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial as having nothing to do with the Capitol riot.
Owens sounded off on Twitter shortly after the Senate voted 56-44 to reject arguments by Trump’s lawyers that holding a trial of a former president is unconstitutional.
The staunch Trump supporter said the impeachment trial was as absurd as President Joe Biden’s decision to keep National Guard troops stationed at the Capitol.
“I don’t know what’s more bizarre,” Owens tweeted.
“The fact that D.C is still basically under military occupation and Biden’s confirmed plans to keep the national guard here through to March, or the fact that there are still people who believe this has anything to do with January 6th.”
JOSH MANDEL ‘BOILING MAD’ OVER TRUMP IMPEACHMENT
Republican Josh Mandel, a Marine vet and ex-state treasurer, says he will make a third run for the US Senate in Ohio, taking a pro-Trump message in a bid for the seat being vacated by Republican Rob Portman.
Mandel, 43, planned to launch his campaign on Wednesday against the backdrop of a second round of impeachment proceedings.
“This impeachment of President Trump is a complete sham and got my blood boiling to the point where I decided to run for the US Senate”, Mandel said.
He said he believes charges against Trump are unfounded and the proceeding is unconstitutional.
SECURITY CORDON REMAINS IN PLACE AFTER DEADLY RIOT
Security is remaining extremely tight at the US Capitol.
A dramatically changed place as a result of the January 6 attack, the iconic building remains fenced off with razor wire and protected by armed National Guard troops on patrol.
Meanwhile, a banner has been hung over a bridge, reading ‘Convict or be Complicit’, in view of the Capitol in Washington.
DONALD TRUMP UNLIKELY TO BE CONVICTED
NBC political reporter Tracie Potts says that there were six Republicans who voted to let the impeachment trial go ahead, when the Senate agreed to hear the case for convicting the former president, Donald Trump.
But Democrats “have a real uphill battle – they need to hold on those six, and convince 11 additional Republicans to vote against their party’s head”, she added.
While Democrats won Tuesday’s vote, it also signaled that they will not likely have the votes for an eventual conviction, since they would need a minimum of 17 Republicans to vote with them, points out the Associated Press.
Democrats say they know they are arguing the case uphill, but they are holding out hope that they will convert more Republicans by the final vote.
TRUMP ACCUSED OF ‘LAYING GROUNDWORK FOR RIOT’
From Washington, NBC political reporter Tracie Potts says that the impeachment trial is expected to stretch for “eight hours a day”.
She added that it’s expected to take a “couple of days” for the Democrats to present their case against former president Donald Trump.
Then, there’ll be a couple of days for his defense to present their side.
“What we’re hearing is that the House managers – the prosecution – will argue not only did the former president’s words contribute to the riot, they are also going to try to make the case that he had been laying the groundwork for this type of attack for weeks,” she adds.
TRUMP ‘SCREAMING AT TV’ OVER IMPEACHMENT LAWYER’S RAMBLING
Donald Trump was “furious” and “beyond angry” over his defense team’s showing on the first day of his second impeachment trial, two sources told Fox News late on Tuesday.
The former president watched the proceedings from Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach, Florida.
The sources said he was really fired-up about his attorney Bruce Castor, who was described as rambling.
He was “screaming” at his TV during Castor’s confusing, long-winded opening statement, say media reports.
“Multiple people tell me Trump was basically screaming as Castor made a meandering opening argument that struggled to get at the heart of the defense team’s argument,” reported CNN’s chief White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins.
LAWMAKER’S DAUGHTER FEARED SHE WOULD DIE IN RIOT
Maryland Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin told the Senate how his terrified daughter and son-in-law thought they would die in the Capitol riots.
The politician emotionally described lawmakers on the House floor being instructed to put on gas masks.
“And then there was a sound I will never forget, the sound of pounding on the door like a battering ram.
“The most haunting sound I ever heard, and I will never forget it,” he added.
Raskin said his daughter and son-in-law were locked in a nearby office, hiding under a desk placing what they thought were their final texts and whispered phone calls. “They thought they were going to die”, he said.
DISTRESSING VIDEO FOOTAGE SHOWN FOR IMPEACHMENT
The Senate was yesterday shown powerful – and distressing – new video footage of the deadly January 6 Capitol riot.
On day one of the impeachment trial, Democrats laid out their case, again accusing Donald Trump of incitement.
The politicians were show 13 minutes of video – a mix of what the president said ahead of the storming, and new footage that hadn’t been revealed before.
It showed cops being beaten up and the building being smashed, to remind senators – who act as jurors in the trial – the level of threat they faced on that day as they were hiding in their offices.
WHAT HAPPENS AT TODAY’S IMPEACHMENT TRIAL?
The official opening arguments will today begin in Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.
On Tuesday an emotional first day ended with the Senate voting to hear the case for convicting the former president of inciting the riot at the US Capitol – even though he is no longer in office.
On Wednesday, House Democrats prosecuting the case and Trump’s attorneys will lay out their opposing arguments before the senators, who are serving as jurors.
PIERS MORGAN CLAIMS PRESIDENTIAL POWER ‘CORRUPTED’ TRUMP
British TV presenter Piers Morgan claims he believes that presidential power ended up “corrupting” his ex-pal, Donald Trump, and changing him for the worse.
Morgan became good friends with Trump while on his Apprentice show 12 years ago.
He spoke glowingly of his then friend, before he gained leadership of the US.
Morgan explained to viewers in the UK that Trump was previously known for being a good friend to others, and showing kindness and empathy before he became president – “quite the opposite” to his latter year in the top job.
MARY TRUMP BLAMES DONALD’S BEHAVIOUR ON TOUGH GRANDFATHER
Donald Trump’s estranged niece, Mary, an author and psychologist, has pinned the blame for his inability to cope with the Covid pandemic and election result on his tough-talking dad, the late Fred Trump.
Appearing on Good Morning Britain, she told Piers Morgan that the crisis had prompted the ‘worse shift in him’.
She explained: “We see my grandfather’s influence, that was the result of two things – my grandfather’s insistence on the power of positive thinking, so at the beginning [of the pandemic] Donald could not allow himself to be associated with anything negative, even if it was a pandemic that was out of his control and had nothing to do with him.
“And then after the pandemic was out of control, Donald couldn’t admit he was wrong.
“With the election result, the worst thing you could be in my family, according to my grandfather, was a loser – so there was no way Donald was ever going to accept the results of an election that didn’t have him as the winner.”
PIERS MORGAN SAYS GOOD PAL DONALD TRUMP ‘COULDN’T COPE WITH CRISES’
British TV host Piers Morgan has told viewers in the UK that the past year has “brought out the very worst in Donald Trump.
“I have known him for a long time, always got on well with him, I saw him for what he was – a very loud, bombastic, dynamic character who always had to be the centre of attention.
“He loved a good fight.
“But when he was hit with a real crisis he fell apart – coronavirus for example – he was heading for an easy [presidential] victory before the pandemic… and his inability to accept the election result.
“The narcissism and hatred of losing that [election] brought out the devil in him.”
MARY TRUMP DIAGNOSES UNCLE AS SUFFERING ‘SEVERE DISORDERS’
Psychologist and author Mary Trump was this morning asked by Piers Morgan if her uncle Donald was her patient, “what she would be diagnosing?”
She replied: “I have avoided diagnosing Donald, simply because it is a technical process… but the most important thing is his behavior, which is clearly pathological.
“This is somebody who cannot tell the truth; this is somebody who has demonstrated over the course of our horrible experiences with Covid-19 that he has no empathy and will do whatever it takes to get what he wants – everybody else be damned.
“I don’t think he is a sociopath, but he has a very complex co-morbidity.
“This is a man who probably has several personality disorders and whatever these psychological disorders are, they severely impact his ability to function in this world.”
TRUMP’S NIECE SHOCKED BY CAPITOL INSURRECTION
Donald Trump’s niece, Mary Trump, has told Piers Morgan that the video shown on the opening day of the former president’s impeachment trial “was quite extraordinary, and gave a minute-by-minute account of the horrors that unfolded on January 6”.
Speaking to Good Morning Britain on Wednesday, she was asked for her thoughts on whether her uncle should be convicted.
She replied: “I don’t want to come to any conclusions before the Democrats have had the chance to present all of the evidence, but I will say that their opening salvo was quite compelling.
“It wasn’t just that day – this [riot] was set in motion by the big lie that Donald and his party had been telling since Joe Biden won the election.”
TRUMP LAWYERS TRIED TO HAVE TRIAL THROWN OUT
Yesterday, senators voted 56-44 in favour of the constitutionality of the historic trial, rejecting a bid by Trump’s lawyers to throw it out on grounds that a former president cannot be tried by lawmakers.
Both sides presented their opening cases, with Democrats arguing that Trump broke his oath in a bid to retain power after losing the November election to Joe Biden.
Refusing to accept his defeat, Trump made ‘false claims’ about vote rigging and repeatedly pressured officials, including then vice president Mike Pence, to try and stop the transfer of power, it was said.
32 HOURS TO MAKE A CASE
So far, only six Republicans have agreed that the trial is even constitutional in the first place.
Following Tuesday’s opening statements from Democratic “impeachment managers” and Trump’s lawyers, both sides will flesh out their cases from today, with the Democrats going first.
Under impeachment rules, each side is allowed up to 16 hours over two days to present their case.
It’ll kick off at 5pm GMT.
Senators will also be given a total of four hours for questioning.
LAWMAKERS WILL SET OUT THEIR CASE TODAY
Democratic lawmakers prosecuting Donald Trump are set to detail their case against him today.
It’s acknowledged that their bid to convince Republican senators they should impeach the former president is a ‘long shot’.
Trump’s second impeachment trial opened yesterday, with Democrats showing harrowing video footage of his supporters’ January 6 assault on the US Capitol.
The riots left five dead.
Trump faces a single charge of inciting the insurrection after he told enraged Republican supporters near the White House to “fight like hell.”
Securing a conviction is highly unlikely, as the Democrats would need 17 Republican senators to vote with them to make a two-thirds majority.
TRUMP ACCUSED BY DEMOCRATS OF BETRAYING AMERICA
A group of nine House Democratic impeachment managers will prosecute the ex-President’s case.
They have accused Donald Trump of betraying the country and the Constitution by fomenting acts of violence after falsely claiming the presidential election had been “stolen” from him by vote fraud.
“The House did not impeach President Trump because he expressed an unpopular political opinion,” House managers wrote earlier this month.
“It impeached him because he wilfully incited violent insurrection against the government.”
ONLY SIX REPUBLICANS JOINED DEMOCRATS IN VOTING TO CONTINUE TRUMP TRIAL
Only six Republicans joined every Democrat in voting in favor of proceeding with the trial.
It is a sign that the trial may be doomed.
TRUMP IMPEACHMENT TRIAL: WHAT TO KNOW
- Trump’s legal team challenged the legal foundation of his post-presidency trial, and said the proceedings will “tear this country apart”
- The Senate adopted the rules for the trial by a vote of 89 – 11
- The Senate is unlikely to achieve the two-thirds vote required to convict Trump, according to news outlets
Load more entries…