WASHINGTON – Former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial begins on Tuesday, a solemn proceeding that will force lawmakers to relive the violent events of Jan. 6 as House Democrats prosecute their case for “incitement of insurrection.”
The nine Democratic impeachment managers for the House, which impeached Trump last month, argue that he alone was responsible for inciting the mob of supporters who broke into the U.S. Capitol and interrupted the presidential electoral count.
Lawyers for Trump argue that the trial is unconstitutional and say the former president was exercising freedom of speech when he told his supporters to “fight like hell” to overturn his defeat. The arguments against conviction are expected to be persuasive with Senate Republicans, most of whom have signaled that they will vote to acquit.
The trial is expected to last into the weekend and possibly longer. It will begin midday Tuesday and could go late into some evenings.
What to watch as the trial kicks off:
FIRST, AN EFFORT TO DISMISS
Tuesday’s proceedings will begin with a debate to dismiss the trial before it even begins. Trump’s lawyers have argued the trial is moot now that Trump is out of office, and 45 Senate Republicans have already voted once to move forward with an effort to dismiss the trial on those grounds.
The Senate will debate the constitutionality of the trial for four hours on Tuesday and then hold a vote on whether to dismiss it. The effort to dismiss is expected to fail, allowing arguments in the trial to begin on Wednesday.