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Trump impeachment: the trial, the team, and the fate of Trumpism

The Trump impeachment trial has gotten off to a start-stop with a two-week wait for proceedings. 

But will the trial ultimately perpetuate a state of disunity or unify a divided country in the era of Biden? 

On 25 January, the Trump impeachment trial was formally triggered by the walking of the article of impeachment by Speaker Pelosi from the House to the Senate. 

Donald J. Trump was impeached for inciting an insurrection on the Capitol which will go down in historical infamy. 

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This attempted coup took place on 6 January 2021 fuelled by the speech of the 45th president in which he told supporters to “fight like hell” to overturn the results of a free and fair election. 

Additionally mentioned in the impeachment article, is a recorded phone call in which Trump asked Secretary of State of Georgia, Brad Raffensperger, to “find” votes which would overturn the results of the election.

The initial impeachment vote resulted in 197 nays and 232 yeas, which included ten Republicans, shining a light on the ruptures within the party. 

With this, Mr Trump became the first president to be impeached twice and the fate of his influence in the political sphere relies on the upcoming weeks. 

A two-week lull in proceedings was agreed upon by Leader of the Majority, Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell allowing legal teams more preparation time. 

Schumer urged: 

“It will be a fair trial but it will move relatively quickly. 

“We all want to put this awful chapter in our nation’s history behind us. But healing and unity will only come if there is truth and accountability. And that is what this trial will provide.“

A scurry to claim legal defence left controversial South Carolina attorney Karl “Butch” Bowers to represent Mr Trump and lead his defence team. 

However, after clashes with lawyers regarding Trump’s agenda to push election fraud claims, the legal team quit just days before proceedings. 

New lawyers to lead the defence have been named as David Schoen and Bruce L Castor.

Schoen represented the American lobbyist Roger Stone and Castor has been criticised for his stance against reforms for sexual assault victims.

Large law firms remained unsympathetic towards the former head of state, due to the perceived antidemocratic values he promoted. 

Trump’s go-to support Rudy Guilliani was also deemed an unsuitable option due to his perceived involvement in the citing of insurrection. 

Jamie Raskin, a Maryland based lawyer, will lead the effort to impeach Trump with David Cicilline and Ted Lieu as managers who drafted the article alongside Raskin. 

The team also consists of several delegates involved with the first Trump impeachment as well as some of those outspoken about the revolt on the Capitol. 

Mr Trump’s political popularity seemed to be dwindling after his second impeachment. But the support of 45 Republican senators in an attempt to dismiss the impeachment, might be a sign that Trumpism hasn’t dwindled. 

Other influential political figures such as Kevin McCarthy have also expressed support for the former president despite concerns regarding his competency and criminality.

The pro-Trump political association Save America contined to support the former president, saying:

“President Trump’s popularity has never been stronger than it is today, and his endorsement means more than perhaps any endorsement at any time.“

If Trump wins the impeachment trial, a censure remains a second option for Democrats. 

Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat senator spoke to ABC saying, “either a censure or some kind of a resolution under the 14th amendment to prevent President Trump from running for office again” but ensured that impeachment was the top priority. 

The trial will proceed on 8 February, the future of Trump and his political career remaining in the hands of the law.

Image: Wikimedia Commons