As far as defence presentations go, the Trump legal team’s arguments were short, sweet, and simple, which is a clear sign of just how confident they are that the Former President will not be found guilty. Their confidence is not without reason; only six Republicans voted that the trial should even take place, far short of the 17 needed to convict Trump. The Founding Fathers introduced the idea of a ‘supermajority’ to prevent Congress from making bad decisions, and it looks like that limit may be Donald Trump’s saving grace.
Trump’s defence took up only four of its permitted sixteen hours, during which the defence team questioned the Democrats’ motives for impeachment, labelled those pushing impeachment as hypocrites, and invoked the constitution to both defend Trump and question the constitutionality of the whole process. The team also debunked false claims about Trump, such as that he knew Former VP Pence was in danger, and that he supports white supremacy. Their presentation was widely applauded by conservatives, who view impeachment as, to quote Trump lawyer Michael Van Der Veen, ‘a politically motivated witch hunt’.
Do you trust the main stream media?
"*" indicates required fields
After the presentation, Senators were given four hours to question both sides, before proceedings finished for the day. Today, the questioning will continue before both sides give their closing statement. After this has happened, the Senate must vote whether or not to call witnesses. If they vote yes, the trial will continue. If they vote no, the trial could end today with a vote on conviction or acquittal, with acquittal being the likely outcome.
The Democrats’ case leaned heavily on the phrase ‘fight like hell’, though Trump’s defence team refuted this claim yesterday by showing an eleven minute-long montage of Democrats using seemingly violent phrases. The clips shown ranged from current President Joe Biden saying he would ‘take Trump behind the gym and beat the hell out of him’, to Kamala Harris and other Democrats using the word ‘fight’.
In a very recent development, it has emerged that Mitch McConnell has allegedly told fellow Republicans in a letter that he will vote to acquit President Trump. The 78 year-old Senator from Kentucky had not previously said which way he would vote, leading some Trump supporters to question whether he may sympathize with the prosecution’s arguments. Today, however, it seems that fear has been put to rest as McConnell has confirmed his loyalty to the Former President.
There are some Republicans who are likely to vote to impeach Donald Trump, such as Senator Mitt Romney from Utah and Senator Susan Collins from Maine. Romney, who was the Republican party’s candidate for the 2012 presidential election, has been an outspoken critic of Trump, who he has called a ‘selfish man’ who has been promoting a ‘dangerous gambit’ by refusing to accept the results of the 2020 election.
Yet despite some outspoken Republican critics, the Former President looks safe for now. Two or three Republicans may vote to convict him, but that is a far cry from the seventeen that the Democrats need. This may have a large impact on the future of American politics, as without a conviction it is unlikely that the Democrats will be able to prevent Donald Trump from holding elected office again, meaning the former President may try to run again in 2024.