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Donald trumped finishes speaking and also prepares come depart Joint basic Andrews ~ above his final day in office as president. (Will Newton for The Washington Post)

Former chairman Donald trumped in January came to be the first president in American background to it is in impeached twice. However being impeached is not the same as being convicted and kicked out of office or ban from ever before holding the again.

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That’s approximately the Senate, which begins its psychological of trump card on Tuesday. It’s the first time a former president has actually been the subject of such a trial.

Here’s just how we got here, what’s happening and also what will happen next.

What’s the schedule because that the impeachment trial?

The trial officially starts Tuesday in ~ 1 p.m. Eastern time, once the senators will certainly be sworn in because that the trial. That day, they will controversy on the constitutionality the the trial, miscellaneous Republicans and also Trump’s legit team have questioned based on Trump’s standing as a previous president.

On the succeeding days, both sides will obtain 16 hrs each come lay out their arguments. That’s likely to take the trial come Sunday or Monday, depending on how long the Senate continues to be in session every day and also whether it takes any kind of days turn off over the weekend.

After that, the Senate will debate and then vote on even if it is to lug witnesses into the trial. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) and other impeachment managers have said they want to bring in witnesses, while both Senate bulk Leader Charles E. Schumer and also House speaker Nancy Pelosi have actually expressed a choice for a much shorter trial. A simple majority vote against witnesses would put Trump top top track because that a conviction or acquittal next week.

Why to be Trump impeached again?

Impeaching trump in his final days in office was not on Congress’s to-do list; climate Jan. 6 happened. The attempt by Trump supporters to protect against Congress native counting the electoral university votes that would make Joe Biden president at some point failed. However Democrats, and even some Republicans, accused trumped of inciting the check insurrection, and on Jan. 13, he was impeached by the house on a solitary charge to that effect.

The article the residence sent end is brief but makes three key points — mainly, that Trump committed “high crimes and also misdemeanors,” because:

1. He falsely asserted he winner the election: “Shortly before the share Session commenced, chairman Trump handle a crowd of his political pendant nearby. There, he reiterated false insurance claims that ‘we winner this election, and we won it by a landslide.’ ”

2. He urged the riot: “He willfully made statements that urged — and also foreseeably caused — impending lawless action at the Capitol. Incited by president Trump, a lot unlawfully breached the Capitol, injured regulation enforcement personnel, menaced Members the Congress and also the vice President, interfered v the share Session’s solemn constitution duty to certify the choice results, and engaged in violent, deadly, destructive, and also seditious acts.”

3. That been putting actions to his indigenous to try to overturn his loss: The write-up mentions a speak to Trump hosted with Georgia’s secretary the state urging him come “find” just enough votes to overturn Biden’s win there.


The Constitution says the president deserve to be impeached in the House, tried by the Senate, then eliminated from office (or in this situation barred from ever before holding federal office again) if judge of “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and also Misdemeanors.”

House democracy uniformly thought Trump’s words before the assault on the Capitol made up high crimes or misdemeanors — all 222 of castle voted in favor of impeachment. And in a notable change from Trump’s very first impeachment, 10 house Republicans voted come impeach, led through Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), the No. 3 home Republican.

“The president of the United claims summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the fire of this attack,” Cheney said in a statement, adding, “There has never been a greater betrayal by a chairman of the United claims of his office and his oath come the Constitution.”

Trump is currently out the office. What room the consequences of hold a trial now?

Trump will certainly go under in background as being the an initial U.S. Chairman to it is in impeached twice. But because his term ended Jan. 20, once President Biden to be sworn in, it’s too late to eliminate him native office.

Trump perhaps being barred from running for federal office again is the big one. That would require conviction through two-thirds the the Senate, climate a simple bulk vote on a different measure come bar that from to run again. Trump could, of course, still be a force in politics even if the can’t operation by act things choose fundraising, making appearances through candidates or showing up in conservative media.

Presidents traditionally acquire security briefings after your time in office, though no at the frequency present presidents do. They additionally keep access to divide information. Yet limiting Trump’s accessibility to protection briefings is actually as much as the Biden administration — and it’s miscellaneous Biden’s chef of staff claims they’re considering.

“We will certainly look because that a referral from the intelligence specialists in the Biden administration, when they’re in place,” White home Chief of staff Ron Klain called CNN’s Jake Tapper, “and we will act on that recommendation.”

As for the other post-presidential benefits, it’s likely that trump card will obtain to save them even if he is convicted. The regulation that first put the presidential pension and also other services in place essentially says that presidents that leave office together a result of a new president being chosen get the benefits. That says former presidents “whose business in such office shall have terminated other than by removed pursuant to ar 4 of post II of the constitution of the United says of America” are eligible — and since trump card is currently out that office, having actually left when Biden was inaugurated, those services are already in place.

What wake up next?

Schumer and McConnell top top Monday were close come announcing an covenant on the trial’s format; since this is a Senate trial and also not a court of law, the Senate it s okay to set its own trial rules.

The agreement calls because that up to 4 hours of controversy on Tuesday end the constitutionality of the trial, basically a repeat of the poll Sen. Edge Paul (R-Ky.) forced on january 26. 45 Republican senators voted against holding the trial at the point.

Then on Wednesday afternoon, the serious legal disagreements are set to begin. The autonomous house impeachment managers will present their case against the president first, climate the former president’s lawyers will present their defense.


The arranging resolution Schumer and also McConnell negotiated then enables the impeachment managers to speak to for a vote on whether to bring in witnesses, if they chose. If the impeachment managers have actually said they want to bring in witnesses, autonomous leaders room wary of extending the trial. It would take a simple majority of senators to include witnesses in the trial.

Raskin and also the other impeachment managers sent trumped a letter the week before the trial was to begin asking him to administer testimony either prior to or during the trial. Trump’s team conveniently rejected the request, calling that a “public relationships stunt” and claiming that the trial chin is unconstitutional, an dispute they setup to focus on as soon as presenting your defense.

“If you decrease this invitation, we reserve any and also all rights, consisting of the ideal to develop at trial that your refuse to testify supports a solid adverse inference concerning your actions (and inaction) ~ above January 6, 2021,” Raskin wrote.

One crucial change indigenous the critical trial — in ~ the request of Trump’s legit team, the Senate will recess as an impeachment court from 5 p.m. Friday with Sunday morning, likely setting up Sunday afternoon arguments.

Trump’s an initial trial started Jan. 16, 2020, and also he to be acquitted 3 weeks after that Feb. 5. That unclear exactly how long Trump’s 2nd trial will certainly last, especially if Democrats space able to contact witnesses this time.

Who will stand for Trump?

The lawyers who made up Trump’s defense team in his first impeachment either declined to stand for him this time or were White residence attorneys no much longer in Trump’s employ currently that he’s the end of office.

That way Trump had to rental a new team of exclusive lawyers — and it hasn’t unable to do smoothly.

The former president parted ways with a team led by Butch Bowers, a southern Carolina lawyer, ~ above Jan. 31, early out to differences over legitimate strategy. Trump hired two brand-new lawyers, Bruce Castor and also David Schoen, shortly thereafter.

Castor is the former district attorney for Montgomery County, Pa. He also happens to it is in the cousin that Steve Castor, a lawyer for home Republicans who featured prominently in their defense that Trump’s very first impeachment. In 2005, Bruce Castor declined to charge comedian invoice Cosby after a holy place University employee accused that of sex-related misconduct — and later stated he’d make a mystery deal with Cosby no to charge him. The Fix’s Aaron Blake watch at the decision an ext in-depth here.

Schoen, a defense lawyer based in Atlanta, has actually ties to controversial defendants together well: previous Trump adviser Roger stone and accused child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein. Schoen has actually said he think his link to stone got the a recommendation for the job.

Schoen told The Washington Post’s Katie Shepherd the the new team will not emphasis on Trump’s cases of election fraud, however instead on an dispute that the trial itself is unconstitutional because Trump is the end of office.

“I am not a person who will put forward a theory of choice fraud,” Schoen said. “That’s not what this impeachment trial is about.”

Will there in reality be sufficient votes in the Senate to judge Trump?

Convicting Trump requires support of two-thirds that the Senate, an ext than the autonomous majority. Seventeen Senate republic would need to vote come convict.

On Tuesday, Sen. Edge Paul (R-Ky.) compelled a procedural poll on even if it is it was even constitutional to organize a attempt of a former president. All however five of the Senate’s 50 republicans voted to say that wasn’t, a number that seems to suggest that there’s tiny chance of Trump ultimately being convicted.

“I think there will be sufficient support on it to present there’s no chance they can impeach the president,” Paul called reporters before the vote. “If 34 people support mine resolution the this is an unconstitutional proceeding, it mirrors they don’t have actually the votes and we’re basically wasting our time.”

The Post’s Ashlyn Still and JM Rieger have a running tracker of where both Democrats and Republicans stand. Therefore far, about a dozen Republican senators have expressed openness to the impeachment trial, though which way they will certainly vote remains uncertain.

Senate minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had actually previously blamed Trump for the occasions of Jan. 6, without explicitly saying exactly how he’d poll in a trial.

“The mob was fed lies,” McConnell said in the Senate’s first session ago after certifying Biden’s win. “They were provoked through the president and also other an effective people, and they make the efforts to usage fear and also violence to avoid a certain proceeding of the very first branch of the federal federal government which lock did not like. But we pressed on, us stood together and said an upset mob would certainly not get veto strength over the rule of legislation in our nation.”

A conviction is crucial to hold the second, arguably much more consequential vote to bar trump card from ever holding commonwealth office again. That action only take away a bulk vote.

Answering your questions on impeachment

Does Trump have actually to show up in human at the Senate trial?

Not only does he not have to, it’s i can not qualify he will. Remember, Trump simply went v an impeachment psychological a year ago, and he was only a couple of miles away in the White house at the time. That didn’t make an appearance then, despite at one allude saying he would certainly “strongly consider” testifying either in writing or in person. Now he lives in Florida, and also there’s no indication the he’s coming back to Washington for the trial.

What is the origin of Trump’s case of choice fraud? did he ever present any kind of tangible evidence in any type of court filing?

Trump had actually been hinting the he might not expropriate election results as far earlier as his 2016 operation — it’s a consistent component of his playbook. However when it comes to details allegations around the 2020 results, Trump an initial claimed a success (without results having come in) in a tweet in ~ 12:45 a.m. Nov. 4. A few minutes later, the alleged, “We room up BIG, but they room trying to STEAL the Election. Us will never let them perform it.”

That appears to be the an initial time after election night the Trump alluded to preventing the procedure in some way. Democrats have indicated that they setup to use Trump’s tweets against him when they existing their situation to the Senate.

Trump and also his lawyers lost much more than 50 lawsuits contesting results, i m sorry The write-up goes much more in depth on here. The justice Department took the unusual action of utilizing department resources to investigate choice fraud claims, but then-Attorney general William P. Barr said Dec. 1 the “to date, we have not seen fraud on a range that can have effected a various outcome in the election.” In other words, Trump was unable to present any real proof of voter fraud.

Could the Senate host a mystery ballot for this reason senators don’t feel political blowback for your votes?

The Senate set its very own rules for the trial, and since Democrats organize a slim bulk (including Vice chairman Harris’s tiebreaking vote) they could, in theory, do the poll private. But, together The Post’s Philip bang writes, the Constitution makes it pretty basic for republicans to object — if simply 20 that the 50 republicans in the Senate voted because that a windy vote, they’d acquire it, do a personal vote very unlikely.

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What other questions perform you have?

Submit lock here, and also we’ll update this post with answers.