Third day of Trump’s impeachment trial kicks off

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Washington (dpa) – US lawmakers kicked off the third day of former US president Donald Trump’s unprecedented second impeachment on Thursday.

House impeachment managers and Trump’s lawyers both have 16 hours to make their case before the Senate.

Both sides are expected to have time to make their arguments on Thursday, but closing arguments won’t take place until next week.

Wednesday’s proceedings featured dramatic video footage showing just how close some lawmakers came to being physically attacked by rioters. The images showed Senator Mitt Romney, a Republican from Utah, being ushered to safety by a Capitol police officer.

Additional videos showed former vice president Mike Pence, current Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer, and others evacuating the area around the Senate chamber through back stairways.

“You know how close you came to the mob. Some of you, I understand, could hear them,” Congressman Eric Swalwell, a Democrat from California, told senators on Wednesday. “But most of the public does not know how close these rioters came to you. As you were moving through that hallway, I paced it off. You were just 58 steps away.”

The US House of Representatives has charged Trump with incitement of an insurrection, alleging that his voter fraud rhetoric and speech during a rally on January 6 propelled a deadly mob to storm the US Capitol.

Five people died during the riots, including one policeman.

Despite the impassioned speeches, it seems unlikely that the Senate will vote to convict Trump. Democrats need a two-thirds majority in the Senate to convict, meaning that 17 Republicans would need to vote in favour of the move.

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