WASHINGTON, D.C. — The second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump began today in the Senate. The day started with a vote on the bipartisan resolution negotiated by Senate leadership establishing the rules of the impeachment trial. The resolution passed by a vote of 89-11.
The trial then continued with four hours of debate over the constitutionality of the trial itself, equally split between the House impeachment managers and Trump’s legal team. Lead impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) opened the debate, saying Trump’s attempt to create a “January exception” to the U.S. Constitution is “an invitation to the president to take his best shot at anything he may want to do on his way out the door—including using violent means to lock that door.” Trump’s defense team rebutted this argument and again took the position that the trial should not continue now that Trump is out of office.
The Senate then voted on whether it has jurisdiction under the U.S. Constitution to try the former president. With a majority threshold, the senators voted 56-44, allowing the trial to proceed.
Tomorrow, the House impeachment managers will kick off their case with an allotted 16 hours of argument that must be used over no more than two days, eight hours a day. The defense will have the same amount of time to present their case after the House impeachment managers conclude.