The date is known: the impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump will begin in the Senate in the second week of February after the charges against the former president were passed on to the House of Lords early next week, the Democratic leaders announced in Congress on Friday.
This two-week delay between the notification of charges and the start of the trial ensures that the trial doesn’t monopolize the House of Lords meetings at the start of Joe Biden’s tenure. In particular, the Senate can confirm the members of its government.
A risk of inadmissibility
Donald Trump must be tried for “inciting insurrection”. The former president is accused of encouraging his supporters to launch an attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, when Congress elected officials confirmed his Democratic rival’s victory in the presidential election.
“You will never retake our country if you are weak. You have to show strength and you have to be strong,” he told his supporters just before they invaded the Capitol and sowed chaos and violence. Five people died in this attack.
A week later, Donald Trump became the first President in US history to be charged twice by the Democratically controlled House.
This time some elected Republicans were very critical. Even Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who was one of his strongest allies during his presidency, has announced that he is not ruling out his decision to find him guilty.
However, the Constitution provides a two-thirds threshold for a president’s conviction, and it would take 17 Republican senators to join the 50 Democrats to get that qualified majority, which is very uncertain at the moment.
If Donald Trump were found guilty, he would not be charged as he has already left the White House, but he would no longer be eligible as he was playing with the idea of a new 2024 presidential run.