The second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump will begin the week of Feb. 8.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., announced the start date Friday afternoon, The Washington Post reported, adding that “negotiations over the trial’s length and format are expected to continue through the weekend.”
The House will deliver the single article of impeachment charging Trump with “incitement of insurrection” to the Senate at 7 p.m. Monday, and senators will be sworn in as jurors on Tuesday, The New York Times reported. Schumer said the Senate will then pause for two weeks “to give the prosecution and defense time to draft and exchange written legal briefs.”
“During that period, the Senate will continue to do other business for the American people, such as Cabinet nominations and the COVID relief bill, which would provide relief for millions of Americans who are suffering during this pandemic,” the majority leader said on the Senate floor.
In an earlier floor speech Friday, Schumer had said that he had been talking with Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., about the “timing and duration” of the trial.
“It will be a full trial, it will be a fair trial, but make no mistake,” Schumer said then, at the trial’s completion “senators will have to decide if they believe Donald John Trump incited the insurrection against the United States.”
I have spoken to @SpeakerPelosi. The articles of impeachment will be delivered to the Senate on Monday.— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) January 22, 2021
Make no mistake: There will be a full trial. There will be a fair trial.
McConnell spokesman Doug Andres said the minority leader was “glad” Democrats had agreed to delay the impeachment trial’s start, according to the Times.
McConnell said in a floor speech Friday morning that he had proposed pretrial steps that would have delayed the trial until early- to mid-February, but “by Senate rules, if the article arrives we have to start a trial right then.”
“This impeachment began with an unprecedentedly fast and minimal process in the House,” McConnell said. “The sequel cannot be an insufficient Senate process that denies former President Trump his due process or damages the Senate or the presidency itself.”
Like Schumer, McConnell called for a “full and fair process where the former president can mount a defense and the Senate can properly consider the factual, legal and constitutional questions at stake.”
The Associates Press reported President Joe Biden has insisted that the Senate can both manage the confirmations to his new Cabinet and an impeachment trial.
The impending impeachment trail — where senators would considered evidence and could hear from witnesses — would be presided over by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.
A majority in the House — including 10 Republicans — voted to impeach Trump a second time on Jan. 13 for his roll in allegedly instigating supporters of the former president to storm the Capitol building Jan. 6 while Congress was confirming Biden’s Electoral College victor . Five people died in the riot.
“The former president will have had the same amount of time to prepare for trial as our managers,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. said Friday, Politico reported, referring to the House Democrats picked to serve as prosecutors in the Senate trial.
Trump, who is the first president to be impeached twice, has hired longtime Republican attorney Butch Bowers as his impeachment lawyer, Politico reported.
Bowers has previously represented former South Carolina Republican Govs. Nikki Haley and Mark Sanford and also serves as an officer in the South Carolina National Guard as a judge advocate general, according to Politico.
Some Republicans contend that the trial only bogs down an already busy Congress.
“Absent some agreement, we won’t be doing any confirmations, we won’t be doing any COVID-19 relief, we won’t be doing anything else other than impeaching the person who’s not even president,” said Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn to reporters Friday, according to Politico.