Inside Story

How will Trump’s second impeachment trial affect US politics?

Senate has voted to go ahead with the trial, rejecting defence lawyers’ argument that the move is unconstitutional.

It took almost four hours of debate in a divided US Senate but Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial is going ahead after senators found it constitutional.

Trump’s lawyers argued he could not be tried after leaving the White House but Trump has become the first former president to face such proceedings.

A 56-44 majority voted in favour of continuing the process, including six Republicans.

Impeachment managers and defence lawyers will present their cases over the next two days.

A two-thirds majority of the evenly split Senate is needed to convict Trump of inciting insurrection.

Democrats accuse him of provoking the January 6 assault on the US Capitol.

If convicted, he could be barred from holding office again.

His legal team says the charges are politically motivated and would further split a divided nation.

So will the trial create further divisions?

Presenter: Sami Zeidan


Jack Kingston – Former Republican congressman

Kesha Ram – Vermont state senator

Chris Haynes – Associate professor of political science and legal studies at University of New Haven