Trump impeachment trial to start on 8 February

The impeachment trial of former president Donald Trump will be triggered next week, US Democrats have said.

Articles of impeachment are to sent to the Senate by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday, meaning the upper house can launch formal proceedings against Mr Trump on a charge of insurrection over the Capitol riots earlier in the month.

Chuck Schumer, the new Senate majority leader, announced the move on Friday, saying: “There will be a trial.”

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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.

The leader of the Republicans in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, had previously said the trial should be pushed back by a couple of weeks, to allow the former president to prepare his case.

He said: “Senate Republicans are strongly united behind the principle that the institution of the Senate, the office of the presidency, and former President Trump himself all deserve a full and fair process that respects his rights and the serious factual, legal, and constitutional questions at stake.”

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However, House Democrats have suggested a full reckoning should take place sooner rather than later, in order to allow the country, Congress and new President Joe Biden to move forward.

Mr Trump, who left office earlier this week, was impeached for a second time, after being accused of inciting the attack on the US Capitol in Washington DC on 6 January.

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He told supporters at a rally to “fight like hell” against the ratification of the election results that was taking place in the building at the time.

After that, a mob of thousands of people marched to the US Capitol, with many of them storming the building.

Five people, including a Capitol police officer, died in the riots.

Mark Gibson

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

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