WASHINGTON, January 26. /TASS/. The US House of Representatives has delivered to the Senate a resolution on impeaching former President Donald Trump, according to a broadcast on the website of the lower house of Congress.
The situation is unprecedented since for the first time in the country’s history a president (who has stepped down now) is subject to the impeachment procedure twice. Trump is accused of "willfully inciting violence against the government of the United States." The impeachment process is due to begin after February 8.
During the trial, the House impeachment managers will prosecute the case and the senators will be jurors. The trial will be presided over by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, the Senate’s president pro tempore.
Under the Constitution, "when the President of the United States is impeached, the Chief Justice shall preside." Chief Justice John Roberts presided over the first impeachment trial during which the Republican was acquitted of charges (abuse of power and obstruction of Congress). However, given that Trump’s presidential powers expired on January 20, a legislator will preside over the impeachment trial for the first time in the US history.
US President Joe Biden has backed the impeachment drive, telling CNN: "I think it has to happen." However, he voiced doubt that the supporters of this procedure would secure enough votes (67). Biden does not believe that 17 Republican senators would vote to convict Trump. "The Senate has changed since I was there, but it hasn't changed that much," Biden said.
The US House of Representatives controlled by Democrats approved on January 13 a text of resolution on impeaching Trump, charging him with "incitement of insurrection." The resolution said Trump had "demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain office." Democrats initiated Trump's first impeachment trial in 2019 but that attempt failed.
The new impeachment drive was initiated over Trump’s remarks on January 6 when his supporters stormed the Capitol Building in Washington DC to stop lawmakers from officially certifying the results of the November presidential election. This was a last-ditch attempt to prevent Democrat Joe Biden from becoming the new president.