Donald Trump impeachment live coverage – Senate trial to decide whether ex President incited mob violence at Capitol
DONALD Trump's impeachment trial is under way with the Senate to decide whether the former President incited the Capitol riot.
Trump faces a single charge of incitement to insurrection after he told a crowd to "fight like hell" for his presidency shortly before a large mob stormed the Capitol in violent scenes that resulted in multiple deaths.
Trump is the first president in history to face charges after leaving office, but prosecutors insist the nature of his alleged "most grievous constitutional crime" demands his conviction post-presidency.
In his defence, Trump's lawyers say that in the same speech he'd urged followers to "peacefully and patriotically" make their voices heard and insist certain phrases have been "cherry picked" to make him look bad.
They additionally claim that even if Trump's words were inflammatory, he is protected under First Amendment rights to free speech, and say none of it really matters anyway as he's currently an unimpeachable private citizen.
Trump, who is currently said to be enjoying his life as a citizen at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, has declined to personally testify at the hearing.
Follow our Donald Trump live blog below for up to the minute updates on the impeachment...
- Debbie White
DONALD TRUMP'S LAWYERS TO FIGHT FOR ACQUITTAL
Trump’s lawyers plan to open the trial on Tuesday by questioning whether the US Constitution allows the Senate to hold an impeachment trial for a president after he has left office.
Most Senate Republicans have embraced that argument.
Their vocal disapproval of the impeachment strongly suggests that Democrats will be unable to garner the two-thirds majority needed to convict in the 100-member Senate.
But, Democrats and many legal scholars have rejected the Republicans’ constitutional interpretation.
- Debbie White
ALL EYES ON SENATE
Donald Trump’s historic second impeachment trial, on a charge of inciting last month’s deadly storming of the US Capitol, opens on Tuesday.
It kicks off with a debate over the constitutionality of trying a president after he has left office.
The Senate trial follows only the fourth impeachment of a president in American history.
- John Hall
Trump's lawyers say the Senate is not entitled to try Trump now that he has left office, an argument contested by even some conservative legal scholars, and they deny that the goal of the case is justice.
"Instead, this was only ever a selfish attempt by Democratic leadership in the House to prey upon the feelings of horror and confusion that fell upon all Americans across the entire political spectrum upon seeing the destruction at the Capitol on Jan. 6 by a few hundred people," they wrote.
- John Hall
Trump's lawyers also slammed a "brazen attempt to further glorify violence" by including media reports in their Memorandum.
They suggest that Trump was exercising his First Amendment rights when he disputed the election results and argue that he explicitly encouraged his supporters to have a peaceful protest.
- John Hall
Democrats have been accused of glorifying violence because of their "fevered hatred of Citizen Trump" in his impeachment defense.
The former president's legal team filed a 78 page brief on Monday morning.
"One might have been excused for thinking that the Democrats’ fevered hatred for Citizen Trump and their 'Trump Derangement Syndrome' would have broken by now, seeing as he is no longer the President, and yet for the second time in just over a year the United States Senate is preparing to sit as a Court of Impeachment, but this time over a private citizen who is a former President," they wrote.
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