Both sides praised the bipartisan agreement for Senate rules established Monday as the second attempt to convict former president Donald Trump was set to begin Tuesday.
“President Trump and his counsel are pleased that there was bipartisan support on how to structure the impeachment trial. We appreciate that Senate Republican leadership stood strong for due process and secured a structure that is consistent with past precedent,” said a statement from Trump’s newly established Florida office.
“This process will provide us with an opportunity to explain to Senators why it is absurd and unconstitutional to hold an impeachment trial against a private citizen,” it continued.
Democrats have made no pretense of the fact that their aim is to prevent Trump from running again in 2024 or of holding any future federal elected office.
However, the new impeachment effort, like its precursor last year, is unlikely to succeed with only 55 of the 67 senators needed for a conviction even agreeing that the unprecedented attempt to impeach a non-citing president was permitted under the Constitution.
Earlier in the day Trump’s attorneys released a prospectus for how they intended to proceed with the case, arguing that it is illegitimate, on one hand, while also playing video of Democrats inciting violence in a fashion similar to what Trump stands accused of.
Despite criticism that the exercise in partisanship is a waste of time and resources, both sides appear likely to draw the trial out in a bid to score political points and distract from the radical Biden agenda being pushed through executive order.
Nonetheless, the agreement on rules—essentially following a format similar to last year’s Senate impeachment trial—offered a rare auspicious sign.
“I’m pleased that all parties—the managers, former president’s counsel and Leader McConnell—have agreed to this plan to ensure a fair and honest bipartisan Senate impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump this week,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
“This impeachment trial in the United States Senate will allow for truth and accountability, which are essential to ensuring desperately-needed unity and healing in our country following the despicable attack on our democracy on January 6 that left five people dead.”
As with the prior trial, the Senate will vote on whether to call additional witnesses following a hasty rush to impeach Trump before he left office in what would otherwise have been the investigative leg of the procedure led by the House.
The haste, too, puts the process—only the fourth impeachment trial ever conducted for a president—on shaky ground.
Also lending an air of illegitimacy to it is the refusal by Chief Justice John Roberts to participate, meaning partisan Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., will preside.