US President Donald Trump has been impeached and will now face a trial before the Senate. But could he actually be convicted this time?
Trump is accused of inciting the mob that stormed the Capitol buildings last week, where five people died, after repeating baseless claims of voter fraud in the 2020 elections. The House formally charged (or impeached) Trump yesterday and he will now have to defend himself against the “incitement of insurrection” charges.
However, Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell said there was “simply no chance that a fair or serious trial” could be carried out, given “the rules, procedures, and Senate precedents” that govern trials involving presidents.
This means that given the Democratic led Senate, which is split 100-100 with VP Kamala Harris casting the deciding vote in tied votes, it is far more likely that a conviction could take place, as opposed to Trump’s first impeachment trial where he was charged with colluding with the Ukrainian government. However, an impeachment vote would require a two-thirds majority of the Senate votes, which means Democrats will need to convince at least 17 Republicans to break ranks.
However, as many as 20 Republicans are open to convicting the president, the New York Times reported on Tuesday. In a note to colleagues, Mr McConnell said he had not made a final decision on how he would vote.
If convicted, the Senate will hold another vote on whether Trump should be blocked from running for elected office again, which he has indicated he planned to do in 2024.