House Speaker Nancy Pelosi plans to send the article of impeachment against Donald Trump to the US Senate on January 25th, kicking off the former president’s trial for incitement to insurgency against the murderous riot on the Capitol.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced the program on Friday.
“There will be a trial,” Schumer said. “It will be a full trial, it will be a fair trial.”
Trump is the first president to be indicted twice and the first to stand trial after leaving office.
As the transmission of the article launches the trial, the upcoming timeline remains uncertain.
On Thursday, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell offered to postpone the start of Trump’s impeachment trial until February to give the former president time to prepare and review his case.
House Democrats who voted to impeach Trump last week for inciting the deadly Jan.6 riot on Capitol Hill say a full toll is needed before the country – and Congress – can move on.
But McConnell in a statement Thursday night suggested a longer timeline that would see the House forward the impeachment article next week, Jan. 28, to kick off the first phase of the trial. After that, the Senate would give the President’s defense team and House prosecutors two weeks to file briefs. Arguments in the trial would likely begin in mid-February.
“Senate Republicans are firmly united behind the principle that the institution of the Senate, the office of the President and former President Trump himself all deserve a full and fair process that respects his rights and serious factual issues,” legal and constitutional issues at stake. ”Particularly given the unprecedented speed of the House process, McConnell said.
Democrats would need the support of at least 17 Republicans to condemn Trump, a bar high. While a handful of Senate Republicans have indicated they are open to sentencing, most said they believe a trial will be divisive and questioned the legality of trying a president after he leaves .
Graham said if he was Trump’s lawyer he would focus on that argument and the merits of the case – and whether it was an “incitement” under the law.
“I guess the public record is your TV screen,” Graham said. “So I don’t see why it would take a long time. “