Donald Trump ‘should be convicted’ claims Piers Morgan
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Congress impeached Donald Trump a second time in January, with Democrats eager to hold a Senate trial before his departure on January 20. But then-Senate Leader Mitch McConnell refused to recall the chamber, pushing proceedings to this month. Both Mr Trump and impeachment managers have now had the chance to make their respective cases, with senators given the duty of providing a verdict.
Is Donald Trump’s impeachment trial over?
Mr Trump’s lawyers arrived to argue the former president’s innocence last week.
They had the task of convincing US senators – in this case acting as jurors – he did not incite the Capitol Hill insurrection.
Impeachment managers claimed his words encouraged supporters attending a “stop the steal” rally before the Capitol insurrection.
The trial started last week with the prosecution, who made their arguments on behalf of the House on Tuesday.
Mr Trump’s attorneys followed from Wednesday to Friday, describing his conduct before the shocking events as “ordinary political rhetoric”.
Time will tell whether senators draw the same conclusions, as the trial now rests in their hands.
Although the defence rests, the trial is not yet over.
When is the impeachment verdict?
As legal representatives leave the building, the US legislature will gather to deliberate.
The country’s 100 senators must now decide whether to convict Mr Trump, and the process could come to a close within hours.
House managers and Mr Trump’s attorneys had 16 hours to deliver arguments each, with closing arguments due today.
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The current schedule has both teams back in the Senate before a vote to convict or acquit.
Senators effectively act as jurors, who need to deliver their verdict as a supermajority.
Conviction requires a Senate supermajority of 67, and legislation treats anything less as an acquittal.
Current voting plans may mean the trial reaches its conclusion today, but the schedule is subject to change.
House impeachment managers and defence attorneys can extend the proceedings if they choose.
They still have a chance to introduce witnesses or subpoena documents before the vote takes place.
Either team will have allotted time to use their last-minute additions, decided by the Senate after a two-hour debate.
But regardless of how long the trial takes to conclude, it will end as one of the shortest of its kind in US history, with potentially less than a week of deliberation.
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