Donald Trump is once again the defendant in the second impeachment trial against him, but several key people changed from the previous unsuccessful effort to impeach the now former president.
Trump was impeached in December 2019 for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. This time, he is accused of “incitement to insurrection” for his role in the assault on the Capitol on January 6, which left five dead.
The following is a list of the people who will play a key role in the impeachment trial that begins on February 9 as was stated in an AFP report.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi assigned the impeachment trial to a diverse group of nine “managers,” all Democratic lower house lawmakers and lawyers, none of whom had any part in the 2020 impeachment against Trump.
The group is led by Jamie Raskin, a constitutional scholar who began drafting the impeachment article shortly after a mob of Trump supporters assaulted the Capitol.
Stacey Plaskett, 54, an African- American from the Virgin Islands, is another of the “managers”. As a delegate from a U.S. territory, Plaskett lacks voting privileges in the lower house, which is why she could not vote in favor of impeachment against Trump.
But she has expressed modest gratitude for being chosen to help prosecute the case against the now former president, whom she said “attempted a coup d’état.”
After a wave of resignations, Trump recruited in extremis David Schoen, a criminal lawyer from Alabama, and Bruce Castor, who was a prosecutor in Pennsylvania and refused in 2005 to prosecute for sexual assault the comedian Bill Cosby.
The loyal ones
The 100 members of the Senate will not only serve as jurors in the trial against Trump. They were also witnesses and victims of the assault.
Many of them are loyal to Trump, including Josh Hawley, 41, and Ted Cruz, a constitutional lawyer from Texas, who make a fiery defense of the former president.
This group also includes Senator Rand Paul, who accused Democrats of being deranged by their hatred of Trump. Last week, he forced a vote to frustrate the impeachment as unconstitutional although he failed in his attempt.
Seventeen Republican senators would have to join Democrats to find Trump guilty. And although those votes are unlikely to add up, Sen. Mitt Romney voted to convict the president in 2020 and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania said Trump committed impeachable offenses by inciting the Jan. 6 riots.
The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court holds the constitutional power to preside over the court of impeachment against a president.
But because Trump is no longer in office, the high court’s head, John Roberts, who presided over the 2020 process, stepped aside. That leaves Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy, 80, the role of judge.
Leahy, mild-mannered, was accused by Trump of abusing alcohol. Leahy dismissed the comments as bogus nonsense.