Day one of Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial has wrapped, but we have a long way to go… here’s what you need to know to make it sound like you know what you’re talking about.

The Accusation

Donald Trump is accused of inciting the January 6 attack on the Capitol by a crowd of his supporters and failed to act quickly to send help or call his supporters off.

Five people died, including a police officer.

The Trial

The Senate is currently holding a trial which is expected to go for roughly three weeks but it could be a case of ‘how long’s a piece of string’.

House-appointed impeachment managers, there are nine, will present the case against Trump on the Senate floor.


Trump’s defense team will have equal time to argue against conviction.

The Arguments

The Democrats say Trump was “singularly responsible” for the attack by “creating a powder keg, striking a match, and then seeking personal advantage from the ensuing havoc.”

They add it’s “impossible” to imagine the riot unfolding as it did without Trump’s encouragement, even citing Republican, Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who said essentially the same thing.

Trump’s lawyers suggest he can’t be responsible because he never incited anyone to “engage in destructive behavior.”

They concede there was an illegal breach of the Capitol that resulted in deaths and injuries but that it’s the people who are “responsible” – the ones who entered the building and vandalised it.


His lawyers said that when Trump told the crowd, “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore,” he was simply pressing the “need to fight for election security in general”. He was not attempting to interfere with the counting of electoral votes.


Once the senators reach a final vote on the impeachment charge — this time there is just one, incitement of insurrection — each lawmaker will stand up and cast their vote: guilty or not guilty.

Two-thirds of the Senate is needed to convict, meaning Democrats — even if they vote along party lines as expected — will still need 17 Republicans to side with them to convict Trump.

Because of this, the odds of a conviction aren’t great.

– with AP and BBC