Senate Democrats have announced that the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump will begin in two weeks, leaving time to confirm President Joe Biden’s cabinet as part of a deal with the GOP leadership.
Trump’s trial will begin the week of February 8, the newly minted Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) announced on Friday.
Earlier in the day, mainstream media outlets reported that the articles of impeachment would be sent over by the House of Representatives on Monday and that Schumer had rejected the request from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) to schedule the trial in two weeks and give the Republicans time to approve Biden’s nominees first.
According to a schedule posted by Politico’s congressional correspondent, the trial would actually start on February 9, a few days earlier than McConnell requested, but the former majority leader was “happy” nevertheless.
Impeachment schedule:Jan. 25: Exhibition of articleJan. 26: Swearing in of senators, issuance of summonsFeb. 2: President’s answer to article, House’s pre-trial briefFeb. 8: President’s pre-trial brief Feb. 9: Due date for House’s pre-trial rebuttal brief … trial begins
— Burgess Everett (@burgessev) January 22, 2021
“This is a win for due process and fairness,” McConnell’s press secretary Doug Andres told Politico.
The House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump with less than a week left in his term in office, accusing him of “inciting an insurrection” on January 6, when a crowd of his supporters broke into the Capitol and interrupted the joint session of Congress meeting to certify Democrat Joe Biden as the next president.
The final vote was 232-197, with ten Republicans breaking ranks to join the Democrats in voting to impeach the president. Four Republicans did not vote. Not a single Democrat voted against.
It was the second time the Democrats impeached Trump, having done so in December 2019, only for the Republican-controlled Senate to acquit him at trial in January 2020.
While the principal purpose of impeachment – to remove a sitting president from office – is now moot, the Democrats have discussed invoking the provisions of the 14th Amendment to prevent him and his supporters from ever holding office again. The amendment was part of measures adopted after the 1861-65 Civil War to punish “rebel” states who tried to separate and establish an independent Confederacy.
“The remedies of the 14th Amendment certainly may be appropriate for someone who incites an insurrection as Donald Trump did,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) was quoted as saying by the Hill.
His colleague Tim Kaine (D-Virginia), Hillary Clinton’s running mate in 2016, described it as an idea “people are contemplating in the accountability space,” adding that he just wants the Senate “to choose a path that maximizes focus on the Biden-Harris agenda.”
Many Republicans, however, see the impeachment as a vindictive and pointless persecution of Trump, who had condemned the unrest at the Capitol and peacefully left power, recognizing Biden as the president.
Republicans in his home county in Kentucky voted unanimously to censure McConnell earlier this week, saying that his denunciation of Trump in the Senate was “not consistent with what he promised us when he was running for re-election.”
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!