On Day 1 of Trump’s second impeachment trial in the Senate, lawmakers debate whether the Constitution allows for a former president to be impeached.
House prosecutors spend their two hours presenting the case. This argument relies heavily on the Constitution and the thoughts of the Founding Fathers regarding impeachment. They also play a 13-minute gripping video showing a timeline of the events, beginning with Trump speaking at the Ellipse and continuing into horrific footage from inside and around the Capitol building.
Trump attorney Bruce Castor speaks for about an hour, spending most of his time nervously talking about his own life, his adoration for the Senate, his friends in the Senate, and what being a Senator means to him. He very briefly argues that impeachment for incitement is censorship of political speech. He also briefly suggests that this trial would be the end of the Senate, and therefore the end of democracy (which has been Trump’s goal for quite awhile, so Trump would love that). Castor only argues about the constitutionality of the trial once, saying that impeachment only removes a sitting president, and Trump can’t be removed from an office he doesn’t hold. However, the attorney omits the part about impeachment banning someone from holding public office again in the future.
David Schoen, notable mafia attorney, follows Castor. He takes a different approach and spends an hour yelling at the Senate. He spends much of this time repeating GOP talking points from the past month. He also argues that Democrats have always wanted to impeach Trump, so this is a political move. He shows a montage of Democrats calling for impeachment at various times over the past four years when Trump did other horrible things (kids in cages, quid pro quo, sharing classified military intelligence, etc). The video leaves out why each person called for impeachment. Schoen also makes the argument that moving forward with the trial will turn the U.S. into an authoritarian state (which, again, is something Trump would be thrilled about).
The motion to proceed with the trial passes with a 56-44 vote.
Photo: Senate Democrats