What to Watch For in the Impeachment Trial on Thursday
The Democratic House impeachment managers are preparing on Thursday to wrap up their case against former President Donald J. Trump as they move ahead quickly with the Senate trial.
The House managers presented for nearly eight hours on Wednesday, walking the jury — senators who were in the Capitol during the attack on Jan. 6 — through footage of the riot and of Mr. Trump’s speeches in the weeks leading up to it. Most of that has been publicly available and previously televised.
But parts of their presentation — like security camera footage of staff members sheltering in offices and radio chatter from Capitol Police officers — had not been released before. The timeline of events, though, and the majority of the content shown would have been familiar to most Americans who watched the assault as it unfolded.
The Trump Impeachment ›
What You Need to Know
- A trial is being held to decide whether former President Donald J. Trump is guilty of inciting a deadly mob of his supporters when they stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, violently breaching security measures and sending lawmakers into hiding as they met to certify President Biden’s victory.
- The House voted 232 to 197 to approve a single article of impeachment, accusing Mr. Trump of “inciting violence against the government of the United States” in his quest to overturn the election results. Ten Republicans joined the Democrats in voting to impeach him.
- To convict Mr. Trump, the Senate would need a two-thirds majority to be in agreement. This means at least 17 Republican senators would have to vote with Senate Democrats to convict.
- A conviction seems unlikely. Last month, only five Republicans in the Senate sided with Democrats in beating back a Republican attempt to dismiss the charges because Mr. Trump is no longer in office. Only 27 senators say they are undecided about whether to convict Mr. Trump.
- If the Senate convicts Mr. Trump, finding him guilty of “inciting violence against the government of the United States,” senators could then vote on whether to bar him from holding future office. That vote would only require a simple majority, and if it came down to party lines, Democrats would prevail with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tiebreaking vote.
- If the Senate does not convict Mr. Trump, the former president could be eligible to run for public office once again. Public opinion surveys show that he remains by far the most popular national figure in the Republican Party.
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