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Trump 2.0 impeachment trial: the main players

Trump 2.0 impeachment trial: the main players

Former US President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial begins Tuesday in the Senate.

Trump was impeached by the US House of Representatives almost four weeks ago for “incitement to insurgency” in connection with the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol which left five people dead.

It was the most bipartisan presidential impeachment of modern times, with 10 Republicans join Democrats during the impeachment vote, indicating that they believe Trump violated his oath to protect and defend American democracy.

Now the process moves to the testing phase.

Trump’s defense team will start by asserting that the trial is unconstitutional because Trump is no longer president and because he did not incite a riot.

Trump told his supporters at a rally that morning to “fight like hell” and spoke of joining them in marching to Capitol Hill, although he did not follow.

No witnesses should be called, in part because senators who were sworn in as jurors will be presented with footage of the scenes they themselves experienced that day as they were forced to flee instead. sure.

Here are the main actors who will be at the center of the debates.

Trump’s defense team

Trump was forced to quickly replace his original legal team just a week ago. Lawyers who had previously signed abruptly abruptly quit Trump’s desired defense strategy of relying on his wholly denied claims that voter fraud cost him the presidency in the November 3 election. He will now rely on two main lawyers to defend him.

David Schoen is a lawyer specializing in civil rights and criminal defense. While he has portrayed rapists, assassins and alleged Mafia bosses, he has also been awarded for fighting to change the face of southern public institutions, according to his website, including the foster care system, public schools, prisons and more.

In 1995, he received the American Bar Association’s Pro Bono Publico Award for his commitment to providing pro bono legal services to those in need.

He represented former Trump adviser Roger Stone, who was convicted in 2019 of lying under oath in the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 US presidential election. Trump pardoned Stone of the weeks before leaving office.

Schoen also met with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein about joining his defense team to deal with sex trafficking charges just days before the financier committed suicide in a New York prison.

Bruce beaver is a former Pennsylvania district attorney. His most publicized case dates back to 2005, when he refused to indict comedian Bill Cosby after Toronto’s Andrea Constand, who at the time worked at Temple University in Philadelphia, accused Cosby of drugging her and for having sexually assaulted her at her home.

He lost his re-election as district attorney to an opponent who then charged Cosby.

Dozens of other women have subsequently raised sex-related allegations against Cosby, who was convicted in 2018 of sexually assaulting Constand.

In a statement to The Associated Press on joining the Trump defense team, Castor said, “The strength of our constitution is about to be tested like never before in our history. It is strong and resilient. document written for the ages, and it will be. triumph of partisanship once more, and always. ”

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Those responsible for the indictment

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has appointed nine House representatives to litigate the case against Trump. All are lawyers and many of them have experience in investigating the president.

Representative Jamie Raskin of Maryland, a former professor of constitutional law, is primarily responsible for the impeachment. He wrote the House resolution after the Jan.6 attack that called on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment and declare Trump unable to complete his term. When Pence ruled out doing so, Raskin helped draft the article of impeachment against Trump.

Of the January 6 riot, Raskin told The Associated Press, “This is the foundation of fascism, when you add racism, anti-Semitism, conspiracy theory and magical thinking. It is an absolute powder keg in terms of an attack on democracy. … So we have to be very tough and very strong right now to defend the constitution and democracy. “

The impeachment trial comes just six weeks after Raskin lost his 25-year-old son to suicide on New Years Eve.

Jamie Raskin, US House impeachment official, reads the House impeachment article against Trump on January 25. (US Senate TV / Document via Reuters)

Representative Joaquin Castro is a member of the U.S. House Intelligence and Foreign Affairs Committees, where he openly criticized Trump’s handling of Russia. He was a private litigator before being elected to the Texas legislature and later to Congress, where he is in his fifth term.

Representative David Cicilline of Rhode Island, a former public defender, is in his sixth term in Congress and is a prominent member of the House Judiciary Committee.

He was heavily involved in Trump’s first impeachment and was one of the original three authors of the latest impeachment article. He and Representative Ted Lieu began writing the article together, in hiding, as rioters still ransacked the Capitol. He tweeted a draft the next morning. “I have prepared to remove the president from office following yesterday’s attack on the US Capitol,” he wrote.

Representative Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania is a lawyer who was first elected when Democrats took over the House in 2018. She is also a member of the House Judiciary Committee. She says she hopes prosecutors can convince the Senate and the American people “to mark this moment” with conviction.

“I think I’m bringing it to just the simple fact that I’m a citizen, that I’m a mom and I’m a grandmother,” Dean said. “And I want my children, my grandchildren, to remember what we did here.”

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Representative Diana DeGette, who is serving his 13th term representing Denver, Colorado, is a former civil rights lawyer and one of Pelosi’s staunch allies. The Speaker chose her to preside over the House in the first impeachment vote in 2019. DeGette said Pelosi trusted her to do so because she is “able to control passions on the pitch.”

She said she was surprised when Pelosi called her to offer her the DA job, but quickly agreed. “The monstrosity of this attack is not lost on anyone,” DeGette said.

Rep. Ted Location, author of the impeachment article with Cicillin and Raskin, serves on the justice and foreign affairs committees.

The Los Angeles area lawmaker is a former US Air Force active duty officer and military prosecutor. “We cannot begin to heal the soul of this country without first delivering swift justice to all of its enemies – foreign and domestic,” he said.

Representative Joe Neguse of Colorado, in his second term, is a rising star in the Democratic caucus who was elected to Pelosi’s leadership team in his first year in Congress. A former litigator, he sits on the House Judiciary Committee and consulted with Raskin, Cicillin and Lieu when writing the article on the day of the attack. At 36, he will be the youngest impeachment official in history, according to his office.

“This armed mob did not storm the Capitol on any given day, it did so during the most solemn proceeding in which the United States Congress is engaged,” Neguse said a week later, speaking of the act certifying the results of the 2020 elections. “Obviously, the attack was made to prevent us from completing our work.”

Delegate Stacey Plaskett does not have the right to vote in the House because she represents the U.S. Virgin Islands, as opposed to a state, and therefore could not vote for impeachment. But she will bring her experience as a former district attorney in New York and a senior lawyer at the US Department of Justice.

“Donald J. Trump has been and continues to be a clear and present danger to our republic, our constitution and the people of this nation,” she said in a statement. “I will do my duty and defend our blessed country.”

Representative Eric Swalwell of California also sits on the intelligence and justice committees and has been deeply involved in congressional investigations into the Trump campaign’s alleged links to Russia. A former prosecutor, he briefly ran for president in 2019.

“The case that I think resonates most with the American people and, hopefully, the Senate, is that our American president instigated our fellow citizens to attack our Capitol on a day when we were counting the electoral votes and that it was not “Wasn’t a spontaneous call to action from the president at the rally,” Swalwell said.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, left, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, seen here together in 2018, will have significant influence in Trump’s second impeachment trial. (J. Scott Applewhite / The Associated Press)

Other numbers to watch

Senator Mitch McConnell, the leader of the Republican minority in the Senate, was one of the strongest figures behind Trump’s acquittal in his first impeachment trial in early 2020.

Initially repelled by the graphic images of the Jan.6 attack on Congress, McConnell spoke out against the violence and blamed Trump. But at the end of January, he was one of 45 Republican senators who voted in favor of a failed procedural motion seeking to force a vote on the constitutionality of Trump’s second impeachment trial. Many of McConnell’s Republican colleagues in Congress have voiced their support for Trump, arguing his comments do not blame him for the violence and questioning the legitimacy of trying someone no longer in office.

Senator Chuck Schumer, the Democratic majority leader in the Senate, will work to try to muster Republican votes against Trump.

While announcing the timing and structure of the trial on Monday, Schumer said: “For the past few weeks, the political right has sought a safe harbor. A way to oppose Donald Trump’s conviction without passing judgment on his conduct, to avoid alienating the supporters of the former president without forgiving his blatantly contemptible, unpatriotic and undemocratic behavior. But the truth is that such a safe zone does not exist. “

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