What will Congress do now that Trump has been impeached a second time? By Reuters

© Reuters.

By Jan Wolfe (Reuters) – The House of Representatives on Wednesday made Donald Trump the first U.S. president to be indicted twice, formally accusing him of inciting an insurrection just one week after a violent mob of his supporters stormed. in the Capitol. Here’s a guide to what happens next. Is the impeachment over? No. The impeachment refers only to the House, the lower house of Congress, the presentation of charges, or the articles of impeachment. The next big step is for the Senate, the upper house, to have a trial to determine Trump’s guilt. It takes a two-thirds majority to convict Trump. If all 100 senators are present for the vote, at least 17 Republicans must join with Democrats in condemning Trump. When will the trial start? Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has rejected Democratic calls for immediate impeachment and said it cannot begin until the Senate returns from recess on January 19. That means the trial will likely begin after Trump leaves office on January 19. 20. The House must formally transmit the charge against Trump to the Senate before the trial can begin. What is Trump’s likely defense in the Senate trial? The House passed a single article of impeachment, a formal charge, accusing Trump of “incitement to insurrection,” centered on a speech he delivered to thousands of supporters shortly before the pro-Trump mob swept the Capitol. Trump is likely to argue at trial that his comments were free speech protected by the Constitution’s First Amendment and that, while he told his supporters to “fight back,” he did not intend them to be a literal call for violence. Trump released a videotaped statement on Wednesday, shortly after the impeachment vote, saying he condemned last week’s violence. “Violence and vandalism have absolutely no place in our country and they have no place in our movement,” Trump said. So a former president can be charged? Yes. The consensus among academics is that a “late impeachment” is constitutional. These scholars point out that the impeachment is used not only to remove officials from their positions, but also to disqualify them from future positions. That means there is still a reason to judge Trump after he leaves the White House. The Constitution establishes that a punishment for conviction is “disqualification from holding and enjoying any position of honor, trust, or profit in the United States.” Under Senate precedent, only a simple Senate majority is needed for disqualification. Historically, that vote only happens after a conviction. It is unclear whether anyone must be convicted to be disqualified. How long will the trial last? The United States Supreme Court has said that the Senate has wide latitude to set its own rules on how to conduct impeachment. But under the current rules, a test would take at least a few days.