Trump’s Senate trial to start as he is charged with ‘grievous crime’

Donald Trump’s historic second impeachment trial in the Senate opens today, an undertaking like no other in US history.

The defeated former president is charged by the House with inciting the violent mob attack on the US Capitol to overturn the election in what prosecutors argue is the “most grievous constitutional crime.”

Trump’s lawyers insist as the trial opens that he is not guilty on the sole charge of “incitement of insurrection,” his fiery words just a figure of speech, even as he encouraged a rally crowd to “fight like hell” for his presidency. The Capitol siege on January 6 stunned the world as rioters stormed the building to try to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s victory.

In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo rioters loyal to US President Donald Trump storm the US Capitol in Washington. Arguments begin Tuesday, Feb. 9, in the impeachment trial of Donald Trump on allegations that he incited the violent mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

No witnesses are expected to be called, in part because the senators sworn as jurors, forced to flee for safety, will be presented with graphic videos recorded that day. Holed up at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, Trump has declined a request to testify.

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