Last updated on January 27, 2021
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said that the House's article of impeachment will be delivered to the Senate on Monday, triggering the start of the Senate's impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump.“I have spoken to Speaker Pelosi who informed me that the articles will be delivered to the Senate on Monday,” Schumer said on the Senate floor.Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had proposed delaying the trial until mid-February in order to give Trump's legal team time to prepare, but Schumer's comments suggest the trial will begin next week. The Constitution says the trial begins the afternoon after the articles are delivered to the Senate.
Here’s a little more info from Bloomberg:
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell is proposing to push back the start of Donald Trump's impeachment trial to 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 Capitol riot have signaled they want to move quickly to trial as President Joe Biden begins his term, saying a full reckoning is necessary before the country — and the Congress — can move on.
But McConnell in a statement Thursday evening suggested a more expansive timeline that would see the House transmit the article of impeachment next week, on Jan. 28, launching the trial's first phase. 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 strongly united behind the principle that the institution of the Senate, the office of the presidency, and former President Trump himself all deserve a full and fair process that respects his rights and the serious factual, legal, and constitutional questions at stake,” especially given the unprecedented speed of the House process, McConnell said.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is reviewing the plan and will discuss it with McConnell, a spokesperson said. The two leaders are also negotiating how the new 50-50 Senate will work and how they will balance other priorities.
Democrats don't want to put anything in writing. As we've underscored many times, there aren't the votes to get rid of the filibuster right now. Democratic moderates like Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona have made it clear they aren't for axing the protection for the minority party anytime soon.But Democratic aides point out that putting that down in writing when you are at the very beginning of your new reign in power in the Senate would be unprecedented. It threatens to weaken Schumer with an invigorated base that would see the move as a massive concession in moving ahead with anything resembling a progressive agenda. It would also take a potential and powerful tool off the table if Republicans put up obstacle after obstacle to pass Biden's agenda over the next two years. As one Democratic Senate aide put it to me: right now Manchin doesn't support getting rid of the filibuster, but after eight months of obstruction, would that change his mind?The next several hours are going to be a critical milestone in learning how Schumer and McConnell operate now that their roles have been reversed. In the past, the interactions between the two leaders have been minimal, largely reserved to talks between their staff and passionate, dueling speeches on the Senate floor. As Majority Leader, McConnell operated swiftly and decisively with consultation from his conference, but rarely from the minority.This is a unique moment where Schumer has to reach an agreement with McConnell to fully unlock the powers of his new role, and that's testing a new dynamic we haven't seen between them. While the negotiations over the organizing resolution remain stuck, discussions over the timing of an impeachment trial are more of an open question right now. As CNN's Manu Raju reported Thursday night, these two items are inextricably linked, and CNN reports there is far more openness to entertaining McConnell's plan for delaying the start of the impeachment trial than there was for McConnell's suggestion that Democrats preserve the filibuster in the organizing resolution.But Democrats aren't just going to agree to delay the trial without a laundry list of agreements about how to proceed not just with Biden's national security nominees, but his Cabinet at large. Will it work? Who knows, but aides say the hope is that the push and pull of multiple, simultaneous and high stakes negotiations between the two leaders will give the two men plenty of areas to horse trade.
Stay tuned for more info.
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