Barely more than a year after delivering two impeachment articles to the Senate against former President Donald Trump, House Democrats Monday will make the trip once again, this time with one article charging the ex-president with inciting the Jan. 6 attack on the United States Capitol.
A new cast of Democratic lawmakers will make the ceremonial march from the House to the Senate at around 7 p.m. on Monday. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who led the last impeachment trial, aren’t part of the team this time.
Instead, Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Maryland Democrat and top lawmaker on the House Judiciary Committee, will lead a group of new Democratic impeachment managers to the Senate, which includes Reps. Eric Swalwell of California, David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Joaquin Castro of Texas, and Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania.
They will deliver one article charging Trump with inciting an insurrection. Five people died during the attack on the Capitol, and dozens were injured.
The House hastily passed the article with the support of all Democrats and 10 Republicans on Jan. 13. A Senate trial is scheduled to begin in earnest on Feb. 8, thanks to an agreement between Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell that will give Trump more time to prepare a defense and Democrats additional floor time to confirm President Biden’s Cabinet and other critical nominees, as well as a possible deal on new COVID-19 aid legislation.
Like the last impeachment trial, this one is unlikely to result in a conviction: A supermajority of 67 senators is needed to convict the president, which would require the support of 17 Republicans. Only a handful of Republicans appear willing to consider convicting Trump.
Many Republicans have said the president has left office and that Congress should move on rather than continue to inflame a divided nation. Other lawmakers believe the trial is unconstitutional because Trump is no longer president.
“I made it absolutely clear the day the House passed its article of impeachment that a trial after the president has left office is beyond the Senate’s constitutional authority,” Sen. Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican, told Fox News. “I think a lot of Americans are going to think it’s strange that the Senate is spending its time trying to convict and remove from office a man who left office a week ago.”
Schumer, a New York Democrat, has not indicated whether there will be witnesses. No witnesses testified at Trump’s 2020 impeachment. Schumer suggested during a Sunday news conference that the trial may be short.
“I believe it will be a fair trial, but it will move relatively quickly and not take up too much time because we have so much else to do,” Schumer said. “But at the same time, it will be fair.”
The House impeachment managers said they are ready to prosecute the case that Trump caused the attack on the Capitol by insisting the presidential election was fraudulently decided for Biden.
Swalwell, a staunch Trump foe, told CNN that Democrats “have powerful evidence of his intent, that for months, he was riling up his supporters what we call the big betrayal, the betrayal of truth, the betrayal of the Constitution, by convincing them that the election was stolen and that they could do something about it if they came to this rally on [Jan. 6] and then joined him and stormed the Capitol.”