Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Trump’s second impeachment trial kicks off



Trump’s second impeachment trial kicks off

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
US Republican Senator from the state of Lousiana Bill Cassidy talks with reporters as he leaves the Capitol after the first day of former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial on Tuesday in Washington, DC. Trump’s acquittal is all but certain because 17 Republicans would need to join all 50 Democrats to convict him of the charge – ‘incitement of insurrection’. Getty Images/AFP

Trump’s second impeachment trial kicks off

Former US President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial began on February 9 with harrowing video footage of his supporters’ assault on Congress, but Republican senators made clear how difficult it will be to win a conviction.

Senators voted 56-44 in favour of the constitutionality of the historic trial, rejecting a bid by Trump’s lawyers to throw it out on grounds that a former president cannot be tried by lawmakers.

The vote, held before the main part of the trial was to get underway on February 10, saw six Republicans join all 50 Democrats in the evenly divided Senate.

Despite this modest show of bipartisanship, the result highlighted the nearly impossible task of getting the two thirds majority – requiring 17 Republicans to join the Democrats – that would be needed to convict Trump of inciting insurrection.

Earlier, both sides presented their opening cases, with Democrats arguing that Trump broke his oath in a naked bid to retain power after losing the November election to Joe Biden.

Refusing to accept his defeat, Trump spread lies about vote rigging and repeatedly pressured officials, including then-Vice-President Mike Pence, to try and stop the transfer of power.

Finally, on January 6, Trump told enraged Republican supporters near the White House to “fight like hell”. The crowd, chanting “stop the steal”, then attacked Congress, where Pence and lawmakers were in the process of certifying Biden’s victory.

Democratic impeachment manager Joe Neguse said: “If Congress were to just stand completely aside in the face of such an extraordinary crime against the republic, it would invite future presidents to use their power without any fear of accountability.”

Video from the January 6 mayhem played back inside the ornate Senate packed the biggest punch.

Senators – who witnessed the events first hand when they had to be rushed to safety that day – watched raw footage of Trump’s speech and the crowd’s ensuing assault on the Capitol.

The video montage showed the mob chanting pro-Trump slogans as it smashed through the doors, swarmed over police, and managed for the first time in history to disrupt the congressional vote certifying the election.

Lead impeachment manager Jamie Raskin said: “If that’s not an impeachable offence, then there is no such thing.”

Fighting tears, Raskin recounted how he and his family – who were visiting to watch the certification – had been trapped, listening to “the sound of pounding on the door like a battering ram, the most haunting sound I have ever heard”.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and