Republican and Democratic lawmakers disagree on almost everything involved in the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump
But there’s one thing they do seem to agree on — they’re ready to end the trial. Soon.
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Trump’s first impeachment trial, in which he was acquitted on charges that he abused power by pressuring Ukraine to investigate now-President Joe Biden, lasted almost three weeks. But this one is expected to be much shorter.
Senators from both sides of the aisle said on Thursday that they hope to officially finish the trial on Saturday.
“Saturday is looking better all the time,” Sen. Roy Blunt, R-M.O., said Thursday afternoon. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-M.I., also said she doesn’t see a need to call witnesses, and that the trial should end on Saturday.
The Democrats want to ensure they have enough time to make their case, they do not want to tie up the Senate for long. The Senate cannot confirm Biden’s Cabinet nominees and move forward with their legislative priorities, such as COVID-19 relief, until the trial is complete.
Most Republicans and Trump’s lawyers argued that the trial is unconstitutional because Trump is no longer president and cannot be removed from office.
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Trump’s first trial was based on a private phone call between Trump and the president of Ukraine, as well as closed-door meetings that happened before and afterward. Democrats held a lengthy investigation and then compiled a complicated report of their findings.
In contrast, the second trial will be based almost entirely on the visceral experience of a riot that targeted the senators themselves, in the Capitol building. The insurrectionists even breached the Senate chamber, where the trial will be held.
Only six Senate Republicans even voted that the trial was constitutional — an early indication that Trump is likely to be acquitted again.
The Democrats will wrap their case at the end of Thursday, and open the floor to Trump’s lawyers defense. Beyond the constitutionality of the trial, Trump’s lawyers say that he did not incite his supporters to violence and that he did nothing wrong.
“It is denied that President Trump ever endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government,” they wrote in a brief for the trial. “It is denied he threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coequal branch Government.”
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Trump’s lawyers also say he was protected by the First Amendment to “express his belief that the election results were suspect.”
The Associated Press contributed to this article