United States House of Representatives has presented a single article of impeachment against former President Donald Trump to the Senate.
The article, which was delivered early Tuesday, accused Trump of inciting the January 6 invasion of the Capitol, setting in motion the first-ever impeachment trial of a former president.
In a procession, the nine House impeachment managers silently walked the article through the halls of Congress and delivered it to the Senate.
Representative Jamie Raskin, the lead impeachment manager, then read out the charge against Trump on the Senate floor, where the former president continues to enjoy significant support from Republican senators.
“Donald John Trump engaged in high crimes and misdemeanors by inciting violence against the government of the United States,” Raskin said.
“He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power and imperiled a coequal branch of government.”
The Senate trial of Trump, who was impeached by the Democratic-majority House on January 13 for an unprecedented second time, is to begin the week of February 8, according to Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Schumer said the 100 members of the Senate, who will act as jurors, will be sworn in on Tuesday and a summons issued to Trump.
Democrats and Republicans agreed to delay the start of the trial for two weeks to allow Trump to prepare his defense against the charge of “incitement of insurrection,” and for the Senate to confirm President Joe Biden’s cabinet appointees.
US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts presided over Trump’s previous Senate trial — which ended with his acquittal — but the Senate president pro tempore will be presiding this time.
The president pro tempore is the senior senator of the party with the majority in the Senate, currently the Democrats. Patrick Leahy, 80, who was elected to the Senate in 1974, holds the position.
While more Republican senators may vote to convict Trump this time, it seems unlikely at least 17 of them will do so.
Democrats control 50 seats in the 100-seat chamber, and a two-thirds majority is needed to convict the former president.
If Trump is convicted, the Senate could bar him from holding office again, a move that would prevent him from running for president in 2024.
Trump repeatedly claimed he had won the election and summoned his supporters to Washington on January 6 for a rally that coincided with the certification of the results by Congress.
Following a speech by Trump, thousands of his supporters stormed the Capitol, fighting pitched battles with police and sending lawmakers into hiding. Five persons, including a police officer, died in the riot.