WASHINGTON (WMC) - The second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump will proceed after a majority of U.S. senators voted that it was constitutional.
Trump is accused of inciting the violent mob that attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
U.S. Senators are serving as jurors and will decide Trump’s fate.
After hearing opening statements, the Senate voted 56-44 to proceed with the trial, rejecting an argument by Trump’s attorneys that the trial was unconstitutional because Trump is no longer in office.
Six Republican senators joined Democrats in voting to proceed.
All six Mid-South U.S. Senators, Boozeman, Blackburn, Cotton, Hagerty, Hyde-Smith and Wicker, who are all Republicans, voted against proceeding with the trial.
House managers began their opening statement by airing a collection of videos showing the chaos at the Capitol when a violent mob of Trump supporters breached the building.
“You ask what a high crime and misdemeanor is under our Constitution. That’s a high crime and misdemeanor. If that’s not an impeachable offense, then there is no such thing,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin, Lead House Impeachment Manager.
Trump’s defense attorneys argue the Senate impeachment trial is unconstitutional because Trump is now out of office.
They say Democrats are playing politics.
“The political pendulum will shift one day. This chamber and the chamber across the way will change one day. And partisan impeachments will become commonplace,” said Bruce Castor Jr., Trump’s defense attorney.
It would take 67 senators to convict Trump and WMC Political Analyst Mike Nelson doesn’t see that happening.
“The vast majority of senators have pretty much staked out their position, and the trial is essentially something they’re doing because it’s literally their obligation under the Constitution,” said Nelson.
Formal opening arguments will start on Wednesday.
The trial is expected to go through the weekend and possibly into next week.