Incitement of insurrection. That is the charge facing former President Donald Trump as his Senate impeachment trial began Tuesday.
Accused of encouraging the January 6 Capitol riot, Trump has already been impeached in the House of Representatives, his second House impeachment. He is also the first former president to face an impeachment trial in the Senate.
“Sixty years from now our grandkids will be talking about this moment. So, I find it really interesting and I am really excited to see how this continues,” said DJ Paredes of Ansonia.
Not everyone though is excited and doesn’t understand why the proceedings are continuing beyond Trump’s presidency.
“I think it’s stupid,” said Flo Lender of Shelton. “He’s already out of office, there’s no reason for it. It’s just a waste of money.”
To convict Trump, it will take 67 votes. Anything short of that leads to an acquittal. If convicted the Senate could hold a second vote to disqualify him from ever holding office again. That would take only 51 votes.
“President Trump cannot be removed from office. His term is expired. A new president has been inaugurated. (But) he can be disqualified from office through the constitution,” said Eastern Connecticut State University Associate Professor of History Thomas Balcerski.
Balcerski explained that the circumstances of Trump’s second impeachment trial are different.
“Here there were very clearly victims. Both from the Capitol police, from the actual insurrectionists and ultimately on a psychological level, for the American people,” said Balcerski.
As for the trial’s length, Balcerski expects it to be over by the end of the month.