The U.S. Senate on Tuesday approved to continue with the impeachment trial against former Republican President Donald Trump.
In a vote of 56 to 44, senators decided to go ahead with the process against the former president accused of “incitement to insurrection” for the attack on the Capitol on January 6, dismissing the arguments of his defense that the process was unconstitutional.
Six Republican senators voted in line with the Democrats in favor of the constitutionality of the process: Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney, Ben Sasse and Pat Toomey.
Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy opened the process and will preside over the impeachment trial. The session began with a vote on the rules that will rule the process, which were approved by a margin of 89-11.
Prior to that vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer had urged GOP senators to pay “very real attention to the evidence here because it is very, very serious.”
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Following the rules vote, senators engaged in a four-hour debate over the constitutionality of the procedure in which conservatives argued that the trial is unconstitutional since Trump is already out of office, but Democrats asserted that it is perfectly within the framework of the Constitution.
The process will go down in history for two reasons, namely because Trump is the first U.S. president to face two impeachment trials – the first ended with his acquittal in February 2020 for an alleged attempt to put political pressure on Ukraine – and because there has never before been an impeachment trial of a president when he was no longer in office.