The historic second impeachment trial of the former President Donald Trump begun yesterday, with day one finalising in the Senate after nearly four hours of testimony from both sides of the aisle.
The trial is set to resume today, with both sides continuing to stake their claims in the proceedings.
But what did Day One entail?
The first day, like the last first day of his first trial, was full of housekeeping and opening statements.
To begin the trial, the Senate had to vote if they believed the proceedings were constitutional or not, as a former President has never had to stand trial after he’s left office.
A few weeks ago, Republican Senator Rand Paul brought up a point of order regarding the legality of the trial, stating the entire impeachment was unconstitutional as Trump had left office.
This vote ended 55-45, signalling that the Democrats will have not have enough votes to convict the former President, effectively withdrawing all meaning from the trial.
The Day One vote saw a similar outcome, 56-44 to render the trial constitutional.
Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana switched his vote from Paul’s motion, citing that he does not believe that the constitutional vote would determine how Republicans would vote at the end of the trial.
The Senate then moved onto approving the timeline of the trial, under a joint resolution set out by the Majority and Minority Leaders of the Senate; Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell.
The bipartisan resolution is to set out the timeline and the rules that the impartial jurors must follow, for an unprecedented impeachment trial.
The timeline ensures that the trial will be conducted both swiftly and fairly.
The legal battle just took off!
The Defence team for the former President Trump received two hours to argue their case for why the believed the trial shouldn’t proceed, whilst the House Impeachment managers got their two hours to argue why they believe that the trial is acceptable even after he has left office.
The resolution passed by a resounding 89-11.
The next move by the Democrats was to pull up a mashed, 13-minute-long video regarding the events that took place on Jan. 6th.
Impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin, whose own family was caught up in the riots, introduced the video to the Senate, a video that depicted Trump’s ‘battle cries’ shortly followed by graphic images from the Capitol Hill riots.
However, the video did not include a section of Trump’s speech where he asked his supporters to march ‘peacefully and patriotically’.
Finally, in the defence of the former President, lawyer Bruce Castor set out the opening defence for his client, stating that the Democrats are simply ‘afraid of running against Trump again’.
He argued that the Democrats would ‘open the floodgates’ if the Senate moved to convict the former President, setting a precedent for ‘partisan impeachments to become common practice’.
According to sources obtained by the network Fox News, former President Trump was allegedly ‘furious’ with the opening remarks from his legal team, especially from that of Castor.
Trump believes that Castor gave a ‘rambling argument’, as the lawyer set out his defence in his 45-minute remarks.
The Senate is set to reconvene at noon to continue the proceedings, which are expected to last through to the weekend.