What happens if Trump is convicted? What does it mean for the ex President?
Trump impeachment trial: Senate shows footage from day of riots
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The US Senate started proceedings against former President Donald Trump this week. Lawmakers in the House of Representatives charged him for “inciting” riots at Capitol Hill last month. The vote provides an unusual occasion for the US’ elected representatives, who now have to convince 50 of Mr Trump’s former peers to convict him.
What happens if Trump is convicted?
The proceedings currently ongoing against Mr Trump are unprecedented for two reasons.
Not only is he the first President to have been impeached twice, but he is the only one to face trial while not holding political office.
The trial – the second stage of impeachment proceedings – proceeds in the Senate, and could determine whether he ever holds this office again.
The latest trial is Mr Trump’s second, but his counsel is representing him as a private citizen.
As such, he doesn’t face ejection from the office he left nearly a month ago.
Instead, it would focus on his claim to future office, as the Senate could hold a second vote after conviction.
The upper chamber could bar him from ever running for political office again with a simple majority of 51, one the Democrats currently hold.
Such an outcome would prevent Mr Trump from running on the GOP ticket again in 2024.
But Senate Democrats face a challenge in getting there, as they need a supermajority of 67 to convict the former President.
The party only has a majority of one in the chamber, thanks to Kamala Harris’ vice-presidential tiebreaker.
They need 16 Republican senators to break ranks to pass the first hurdle, which currently seems unlikely.
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The GOP backed Mr Trump in a mostly partisan vote before the trial began.
Only six Republican Senators joined Democrats in allowing the trial to proceed, following a vote on whether it was constitutional earlier this week.
Experts believe the final trial will play out in much the same way, with the GOP’s Lindsay Graham convinced it will end “by Sunday”.
If he is correct, the whole trial will have lasted for less than a week.
Impeachment proceedings against Mr Trump in 2019 took much longer, as Senators held the trial for three weeks.
Then, they were deliberating on two charges; abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
But while the allegations were equally serious, the issues were comparatively less clear-cut.
The January 6 riots that many Trump supporters participated in following the former President’s speech were experienced firsthand by lawmakers now present in the Senate.
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