Trump impeachment trial to begin week of February 8: Schumer

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi shows the article of impeachment against U.S. President Donald Trump after signing it in an engrossment ceremony at the U.S. Capitol in Washingt

When does the Senate trial start?

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the article of impeachment passed by the House on January 13, charging Trump with inciting the January 6 insurrection, will be delivered to the Senate on Monday. Senators will then be sworn in for a court of impeachment the following day.

Schumer said that in the interim the Senate will "continue to do other business for the American people", including covid relief.

The House members assigned by Speaker Nancy Pelosi as impeachment managers, and members of Trump's yet-to-be-named defense team, will then be given time to draft their legal briefs. Pelosi said she would talk to them "in the next few days" about when the Senate might be ready for a trial. Biden and many congressional Democrats are pressing for the Senate to use that discretion to split its time to simultaneously act on cabinet confirmations and Biden's proposed $1.9 trillion virus-relief package.

Trump, the first president to be impeached twice, is at a disadvantage compared with his first impeachment trial, in which he had the full resources of the White House counsel's office to defend him.

Schumer said the article of impeachment will be delivered and read out to the Senate on Monday at 7:00 pm (0000 GMT Tuesday).

It's unclear whether Chuck Schumer, now the Senate majority leader, will back the GOP's push for the trial to start in February. Five people, including a Capitol Police officer and three people who suffered medical emergencies, died in the mayhem, and the House impeached Trump a week later, with 10 Republicans joining all Democrats in support.

Only five Republican senators - Mitt Romney of Utah, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Susan Collins of ME and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania - are seen as potential defectors.

Schumer is majority leader in the 50-50 Senate because any tie-breaking votes would be cast by Harris, a fellow Democrat. But the big lie, as Snyder calls it, that Trump seeded - that the 2020 election was stolen from him - what becomes of that lie now?

Graham said that if he were Trump's lawyer, he would focus on that argument and on the merits of the case - and whether it was "incitement" under the law.

He is still assembling his legal team.

Trump survived a first impeachment nearly a year ago when the then Republican-controlled Senate acquitted him of abusing his office to try to get dirt on Biden's family before the presidential election.

Democrats would need the support of at least 17 Republicans to convict Trump, a high bar.

"We all want to put this very bad chapter in our nation's history behind us", Schumer said about the deadly Capitol siege.

The timing on when the House would transmit the impeachment article had been left in the air as the Senate changed from Republican to Democratic control and worked to quickly confirm several of Biden's Cabinet nominees.

Sit and listen, mostly, which is a departure from the normal way the Senate floor operates. When House managers present the impeachment article, the sergeant-at-arms is required to read a proclamation: "All persons are commanded to keep silence, on pain of imprisonment". To make sure they paid attention, they were forbidden from carrying phones and other electronic devices into the chamber. Large cubbyholes were installed outside the chamber and in cloakrooms to store electronics.



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