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Donald Trump's trial starts with fight over whether case can proceed

Republican senators have advanced the constitutional question as the main justification for acquittal

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Donald Trump | Republican Party

Bloomberg 

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

The Senate begins Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial on Tuesday with a fight over whether the proceeding is constitutional, as a number of conservative lawyers reject the defense team’s claim that a former president can’t be convicted of a crime by Congress. Republican senators have advanced the constitutional question as the main justification for acquittal.

Most of them have avoided directly defending Trump’s actions leading up to and on the day his supporters stormed the US Capitol. The Senate will face the issue head on as the first step in the process, with four hours of debate scheduled Tuesday on the constitutional question, followed by a simple majority vote, under rules negotiated between Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Republican leader Mitch McConnell. Assuming the constitutional question will fail if all 50 Democrats vote that it is appropriate to try Trump, then House impeachment managers and Trump’s defense team each will begin up to 16 hours of presentations on their cases on Wednesday.

Democrats cut off relief cheques at household income of $200,000 House Democrats are proposing to limit the next round of Covid-19 relief payments to households earning less than $200,000, after criticism that President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package would benefit the rich. Draft legislation released Monday by the House Ways and Means Committee calls for $1,400 payments for single people earning $75,000 or married couples earning $150,000.

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First Published: Wed, February 10 2021. 02:53 IST
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