House To Transmit Article Of Impeachment To Senate On Monday, Schumer Says

Clay Curtis
January 23, 2021

Former President Donald Trump's impeachment trial will begin during the week of February 8, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Friday, after the House of Representatives formally delivers the impeachment charge to the chamber on Monday.

The start date of February 8 will allow more time for the Senate to confirm Joe Biden's Cabinet nominations and mull his proposed Covid relief package - top priorities of the new White House agenda that could become stalled during trial proceedings.

The impeachment comes as senators Schumer and McConnell struggle to assert control in a 50-50 chamber where Democrats now hold a razor-thin majority thanks to Vice-President Kamala Harris's tie-breaking vote.

Trump's impeachment trial would be the first of a USA president no longer in office, an undertaking that his Senate Republican allies argue is pointless, and potentially even unconstitutional.

"We all want to put this bad chapter in our nation's history behind us", Schumer said about the deadly January 6 Capitol siege by a mob of pro-Trump supporters.

Unlike any in history, Trump's impeachment trial would be the first of a United States president no longer in office, an undertaking that his Senate Republican allies argue is pointless, and potentially even unconstitutional.

Trump's charge stems from his incendiary speech to supporters before they stormed the Capitol on January 6.

Last week, the House voted to impeach Trump over his role in provoking the U.S. Capitol riot on January 6.

Senate Republicans are arguing there must be a full and fair process in which President Trump can mount a defense to which Schumer agreed.

"We are respectful of the Senate's constitutional power over the trial and always attentive to the fairness of the process", Pelosi said.

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"What can not be delayed through this process is his proposal to get relief to the American people at this time of crisis", Psaki told reporters.

Schumer said the article of impeachment will be delivered and read out to the Senate on Monday at 7:00 pm (0000 GMT Tuesday).

But Senator Richard Durbin, the No. 2 Senate Democrat, told MSNBC that lawmakers would "sit down and map this out as best we can, use every available minute". No president has ever been convicted in such proceedings, and if Mr Trump were found guilty he could end up being barred from future office.

"I can't imagine that both McConnell and Schumer don't want to have a little more structure here, and particularly Schumer, leave a little more time to move forward with the early Biden decisions before we get locked into the trial", Republican Senator Roy Blunt told reporters. McConnell has threatened to block an organizing resolution laying out rules and committee assignments for the new Senate session, unless Democrats agree to maintain the filibuster.

Schumer rejected McConnell's demand on Friday, calling it an "unacceptable proposal".

U.S. President Donald Trump has been impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives for a historic second time, charged with 'incitement of insurrection.' Ten Republicans joined Democrats to vote in favour of impeachment.

Ten House Republicans joined Democrats on January 13 in impeaching him.

Democrats would need the support of two-thirds of the senators present to convict Trump, a high bar in an upper house that is now equally divided.

Such a vote could signal that senior Republicans were eager to remove Mr Trump as the de facto leader of their party. He has said he may seek to run for office again in 2024.

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