Trump impeachment trial set to be triggered amid fears of further unrest

The article of impeachment formally charging Donald Trump with inciting insurrection before the deadly attack on the Capitol will be delivered shortly.

The trial, which is expected to get started on 8 February, will be led by the US Senate’s longest-serving member.

Democrat Patrick Leahy, 80, said in a statement: “When I preside over the impeachment trial of former president Donald Trump, I will not waver from my constitutional and sworn obligations to administer the trial with fairness, in accordance with the Constitution and the laws.”

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New footage emerges of the US Capitol riot

Mr Trump was the first president to be impeached by the House of Representatives twice and will be the first to face a trial after his term in office.

If found guilty by the Senate, which is now controlled by the Democrats, Mr Trump will be unable to run for political office again and could lose access to other benefits – such as his pension and his travel allowance.

However, it would require a number of Republicans to vote with the Democrats as a two-thirds majority is required to convict the former president.

Democrat control of the Senate will only be felt in votes that are won by a simple 50+1 majority, as Vice President Kamala Harris would have the deciding vote in the event of a tie.

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Meanwhile, federal law enforcement officials are examining a number of threats aimed at members of Congress ahead of Mr Trump’s trial.

According to reports from Associated Press, officials are aware of “ominous chatter about killing legislators” – or attacking them outside of the US Capitol.

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Inauguration poet on Capitol riots

There are also concerns armed protesters could return to attack the Capitol again, leading to around 7,000 National Guard troops remaining in Washington to help police the trial.

The shocking insurrection at the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob prompted federal officials to rethink security in and around its landmarks, resulting in an unprecedented lockdown for president Joe Biden‘s inauguration.

More than 800 people are believed to have made their way into the Capitol during the violent siege on 6 January.

Five people died, including a Capitol police officer who was struck on the head with a fire extinguisher.

Is Trump's impeachment trial worth the trouble?

Is Trump’s impeachment trial worth the trouble?

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At least five people facing federal charges have suggested they believed they were taking orders from Mr Trump when they marched on Capitol Hill.

More than 130 people have been charged by federal prosecutors for their roles in the riot.

In recent weeks, others have been arrested after posting threats against members of Congress.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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