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Bolton: Trump's impeachment trial is ‘badly conceived, poorly executed’

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
In this file photo National Security Adviser John Bolton stands alongside US President Donald Trump as he speaks during a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, May 17, 2018. (AFP photo)

Former White House national security adviser John Bolton has said that a “badly conceived, poorly executed” impeachment trial of Donald Trump will fail to convict the former US president.

"Like Impeachment 1.0, the 2021 edition is badly conceived, poorly executed, and likely to produce precisely what the first round did: results 180 degrees contrary to the objectives that impeachment supporters say they want," Bolton wrote in the National Review on Tuesday.

"Like the first, it is too narrowly drawn (first Ukraine, now the Capitol desecration) and was rushed through the House on largely partisan lines. Neither scenario is the right way to do impeachments, 50 percent of which in U.S. history have occurred in the past twelve months."

Bolton said Trump's acquittal in the Senate in last January from the first impeachment trial "emboldened and enabled him" instead of "deterring and constraining" the former president, lamenting that a second acquittal could do the same as Trump enters his post-White House life.

The Democratic-controlled US House of Representatives introduced an article of impeachment on Monday to the Senate that charges Trump with high crimes and misdemeanors for whipping up an insurrection and disrupting the peaceful transfer of power.

Trump is the only US president who has been impeached twice by the House and will be the first to face trial after leaving the White House.

Conviction in the Senate could result in a vote to bar him from running for office again, but the conviction is unlikely as only a few Republican senators may vote for impeachment, despite lingering anger among some Republicans over his recent actions.

A two-thirds majority vote would be required for his conviction which would require at least 17 Republican votes if every Democrat votes to convict Trump.

The US House impeached Trump over his role for the invasion on the Capitol on January 6 that left five people dead, including a member of law enforcement.

Trump was blamed for inciting an insurrection when the lawmakers were busy certifying the victory of Joe Biden in the disputed 2020 presidential election. Trump believes Biden did not win the election fairly, and that the vote was rigged to deprive him of second term.

The bipartisan effort kicked off in the lower chamber of US Congress in a bid to remove Trump from office before his tenure ended on January 20 but he completed his term.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell last week proposed that Trump's impeachment trial be delayed until mid-February.

McConnell proposed that the House send the impeachment charge to the Senate on January 28, and that Trump be given two weeks after that to prepare his pre-trial brief, before the Senate trial starts. He wants to give Trump’s legal team until February 11 to submit its pre-trial brief.


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