Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced Friday that former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial will begin the week of February 8th.
“Both the House managers and the defense will have a period of time to draft their legal briefs just as they did in previous trials. …Once the briefs are drafted, the presentation by the parties will commence the week of February 8,” Schumer said in a Senate floor speech.
The development comes after Pelosi announced that the House will send its single article of impeachment to the upper chamber on Monday.
The Hill reports:
Under the agreement between Schumer and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), the article will be read at 7 p.m. on Monday. Senators will be sworn in Tuesday and a summons will be issued to Trump. Trump’s response to the article and House’s pre-trial brief will be due by Feb. 2, and Trump’s pre-trial brief will be due six days later. The earliest the trial could start is Feb. 9, when the House’s pre-trial rebuttal is also due.
In a statement, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell ‘s (R-KY) office expressed satisfaction regarding trial timeline.
“Leader McConnell is glad that Leader Schumer agreed to Republicans’ request for additional time during the pre-trial phase. Especially given the fast and minimal process in the House, Republicans set out to ensure the Senate’s next steps will respect former President Trump’s rights and due process, the institution of the Senate, and the office of the presidency,” McConnell spox Doug Andres said.
Last week, McConnell accused Trump of stoking the recent riot at the U.S. Capitol, in which five people died, including a police officer. “The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people, and they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding … which they did not like,” stated the Kentucky Republican. “But we pressed on. We stood together and said an angry mob would not get veto power over the rule of law in our nation.”
McConnell has yet to decide on whether he will vote to convict Trump in the upcoming trial, while some reports suggest that he may have trouble holding on to his long-held leadership post if he votes against the former president.
“If he does, I don’t know if he can stay as leader,” one unnamed senior Republican senator said, reported CNN. The lawmaker told the news outlet that “several of his colleagues held similar views and asked not to be named discussing sensitive internal politics.”