Political Trial Of Donald Trump: The Bizarre Ritual Of Bringing Articles From The Lower House To The Senate

In charge of judging President Donald Trump as of next Tuesday, the US senators will take an oath on Thursday before the head of the Supreme Court, who will preside over the historic impeachment process against the Republican president.

The accusation against Trump, the third president in office to be put on trial in the history of the United States, was officially transmitted Wednesday to the Senate, in an infrequent and strange ritual that refers to the only two similar processes that the history of the United States has seen. country.

The slowest missile in the world crossed the Capitol building on Wednesday night. A 1,416-word warhead with folds, the "Articles of Political Trial against Donald John Trump," was escorted from the south wing by a procession of House Democrats and ceremoniously entered into the Senate Chamber, where Republicans will spend the next few weeks. trying to deactivate the device, so that the tycoon's presidency does not explode, The Washington Post wrote Thursday.

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Almost a month after the lower house approved the two articles – about abuse of power and obstruction of Congress – without a single Republican vote, its head, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, held a "fascination ceremony" to sign the draft law before it was sent to the Senate controlled by Republicans.

Pelosi's office said he was following a "precedent," a blurry word considering only two presidents went through the same process before Trump, with all the pomp that accompanies him.

The head of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, signs the documents for the start of the political trial against Donald Trump. / EFE

Half an hour before the parade began, the office of the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, reported that, according to Congressional rules, articles of political trial could not be delivered "formally" until the next day.

Formally or not, Pelosi and a retinue of high-level Democrats entered the reception room at 5:15 p.m. and met dozens of photographers who already packed the articles of political trial, which had been placed on a table next to a sign that it said "#DEFENDOURDEMOCRACY" ("defend our democracy").

Pelosi sat down and signed the bill, which took several minutes, as he used a different pen each time, which he took from the golden trays and then distributed them to the other Democrats in Congress, according to The Washington Post.

A ritual parade that follows the model of the two previous political trials of presidents held in the United States: in 1868 and in 1998. / EFE

The procession began. The secretary of the Chamber, Cheryl L. Johnson, removed the items from the room and crossed them through the main corridor of the Capitol next to the Sergeant of Arms of the House Paul Irving and followed by seven political trial managers that Pelosi chose to process the case at trial.

Behind her were the president of the Intelligence Committee of the House of Representatives, Adam B. Schiff, and the President of the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives, Jerrold Nadler, with their faces as impassive as the statues flanking their route: Rosa Parks and Chief Standing Bear and Alexander Hamilton Stephens, vice president of the Confederation.

A route followed in 1868

The procession followed a route first presented on February 25, 1868, one day after the dismissal of President Andrew Johnson. That time, the bills were handed over to the Senate by Republican Rep. Thaddeus Stevens, who was so weak from a disease that attendees had to take him through the Capitol in a chair, the Post recalls.

That first ceremony was even more random than those that will come. House Republicans had not yet decided why crimes and offenses were accusing the president, so Stevens returned to the Senate a week later with nearly two dozen pages handwritten and punched, accusing Johnson of 11 articles, including an attempt to "bring misfortune, ridicule, hate, despise and reproach the United States Congress."

Stevens' walk created a kind of tradition, such as a scarcer, rarer and much less famous version of the ceremonial march to open Parliament in Britain.

One hundred thirty years later, on December 19, 1998, Republicans repeated the political trial walk, this time with articles accusing President Bill Clinton of obstructing justice and lying under oath.

That march, which then included Representative Lindsey Graham, concluded in the narrow office of Senate Secretary Gary Sisco, who accepted the document from the members of the House.

The parade headed by Pelosi on Wednesday opens another historic chapter in the United States, just at the beginning of the campaign for the November presidential elections.

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