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Trump faces trial in Senate


Trump faces trial in Senate
US President Donald Trump. (BBC)

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Washington – Donald Trump faces trial in the Senate after becoming the first United States president to be charged with misconduct in office for a second time.

Trump is accused of inciting a mob that stormed Congress last week after he repeated false claims of election fraud. Five people died.

The trial will be held after the president leaves office next Wednesday.

If Trump is convicted, senators could also vote to bar him from ever holding public office again.

The trial follows Wednesday’s vote in the House of Representatives that formally charged – or impeached – the president with “incitement of insurrection” for his role in the riot.

The Republican president has rejected responsibility for the violence. In a video released by the White House after the vote, he called on his supporters to remain peaceful, without mentioning his impeachment.

The FBI has warned of possible armed protests planned for Washington DC and all 50 US state capitals in the days before Joe Biden, a Democrat, is inaugurated as the new US president.

 

What happens next?

The Senate – the upper house of the US Congress – will hold a trial to determine the president’s guilt but this will not happen during Trump’s remaining week in office.

Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell said there was “simply no chance that a fair or serious trial” could conclude given “the rules, procedures, and Senate precedents” that govern trials involving presidents.

A two-thirds majority will be needed to convict Trump, meaning at least 17 Republicans would have to vote with Democrats in the evenly split, 100-seat chamber. (BBC)

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