House impeachment managers introduce video evidence as part of their case against Donald Trump, depicting one of the darkest days in American history. pic.twitter.com/7G2Jf1PEnQ
— Josh Campbell (@joshscampbell) February 9, 2021
The trial begins. The ABC reports on possible outcomes:
“It seems very likely that Trump will be acquitted,” Professor Ackerman said.
“From the point of view of political calculation, each of the Republican senators are in a predicament.
“If they vote to convict, they guarantee that President Trump will be campaigning against them and that in the primary they will confront some person of the Trump persuasion who will say, ‘The sitting senator is a traitor to the Trump cause.'”
The words Guilty 48, Not Guilty 52 is displayed in front of a room of people.
The Senate found Trump not guilty during previous impeachment proceedings at the beginning of 2020.(AP: Senate Television)
Professor Ackerman, a lead witness during the impeachment of president Bill Clinton, added that Democrats might lack the political appetite to draw the process out.
“[US President Joe] Biden wants to make this trial short, quick and bring it to an end because he wants to focus everyone’s attention on first, the COVID crisis and the economic disaster in its wake, and second, rebuilding transatlantic democracy.”
Could there be a Plan B if impeachment fails?
There is a little-known clause in the constitution’s 14th amendment that Professor Ackerman says Democrats could use to bar Mr Trump from ever running for office again.
“Any officer of the United States who engaged in an insurrection — insurrection is defined as a failed rebellion — shall be disqualified from further service if a simple majority in both houses so decide,” he said.
It’s a much more achievable threshold than a two-thirds majority, and Democrats could accomplish it without Republican support.
There are also likely to be legal proceedings of some sort.
This is far from over.