US Senate Republicans to push back start of Trump impeachment trial to February
Former president should be given time to prepare a line of defense, GOP officials say
Republican senators on Thursday asked Democrats to postpone the start of the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump until mid-February to give him time to prepare to defend against incitement to insurrection charges..
On Thursday afternoon, it became known that the House of Representatives may already on Friday submit to the Senate the article of impeachment of the ex-president, approved by a majority of legislators last week..
Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell asked Democrats to postpone the submission of the article of impeachment until January 28 and give Trump two weeks to prepare a defense. Senate Majority Leader, Democrat Chuck Schumer is currently considering McConnell’s proposal, his spokesman said Thursday evening..
Democrats control the Senate with a minimal advantage – although the seats in the upper house of Congress are equally divided between the two parties, 50-50, Democrats can count on the casting vote of Vice President Kamala Harris when voting on issues that require a simple majority of votes. At the same time, Democrats need cooperation with Republicans to validate candidates for posts in the Biden cabinet and to promote most of the programs proposed by the new administration..
Trump has already become the only president in US history to be impeached twice in the House of Representatives, and the upcoming impeachment trial in the Senate will be a one-of-a-kind process to take place after the president leaves office..
A Democratic source told Reuters that the House of Representatives could submit the clause of impeachment to the Senate as early as Friday, while Dick Durbin, the second-highest Democrat in the Senate, said it could happen “in a day or two.” During Trump’s first impeachment, Senate litigation began the day after the submission of articles of impeachment from the House of Representatives.
However, Republican senators say Trump should be given time to conduct what Senator John Cornin called “due process.”.
“As I understand from today’s conversation, (the Senate trial) will not begin until mid-February,” Republican Senator Mike Brown told reporters..
Democrat Durbin told reporters that it is still unclear whether the Senate will hold a “full-scale trial with evidence”, or the impeachment of the former president will be carried out in an “expedited” manner, as was the case with the vote in the House of Representatives.
To convict Trump will require at least two-thirds of the Senatorial vote. Barring Trump from running again in the presidential election will require a separate vote.
Trump has already hired South Carolina lawyer Butch Bowers to represent him in the Senate impeachment trial, according to a source familiar with the situation..
Some Democrats backed the Republican request, noting that the delay would allow urgent issues to be resolved now and a vote on the approval of members of the Biden cabinet.
Senator Chris Koons told CNN that Democrats are willing to consider a postponement if progress is made in approving Biden’s nominees for his cabinet position..