Ahead of the Senate impeachment trial of former U.S. President Donald Trump starting on Tuesday, both Democrats and Republicans said they want the trial to be quick, according to CNN on Sunday. Democrats are rushing to pass $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan and Republicans want to distance themselves from Trump.
In the Senate impeachment trial, which will be similar to a criminal trial, House Democrats will take on the role of prosecutors and Trump’s defense team will defend the former president. Democrats asked Trump to participate in the Senate impeachment trial but his legal team refused. There will not likely be a witness question, either. Therefore, the trial is not expected to last more than a week, according to Politico.
It is unlikely that former President Trump will actually be impeached. The Senate is now split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans. A two-thirds majority would be needed to convict Trump, which means at least 17 Republicans would need to vote for conviction. The popular notion is Trump will be acquitted by the Senate. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told CBS News that the outcome of the impeachment trial is “really not in doubt.”
However, Republican Rep. Liz Cheney, who voted to impeach Trump on Jan. 13, argued that Trump could face criminal investigation over the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection.
Some raised the possibility that Democrats could push for a separate vote, regardless of the result of the impeachment trial, barring Trump from running for office again. The vote is based on Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which states that anyone who participates in an insurrection is ineligible for state or federal office. Unlike an impeachment trial, which requires two-thirds majority, Section 3 of the 14th Amendment only requires a majority vote.