Mitch McConnell Will Not Convene Senate Early, Pushing Trump Impeachment Trial into Biden’s Term

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., joined by Majority Whip John Thune, R-S.D.,
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will not agree to convene Congress’s upper chamber early to begin an impeachment trial against President Donald Trump, a McConnell spokesman confirmed Wednesday.

McConnell’s decision means a Senate impeachment trial would not begin until at least January 19, one day before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, and comes on the same day the House is expected to pass an article of impeachment against Trump over last week’s riot at the U.S. Capitol.

McConnell released a memo last week detailing the timeline of the anticipated impeachment trial, which said House impeachment managers would “exhibit” the article of impeachment on January 19 or 20 and the Senate would “proceed to consideration” of the article at 1:00 p.m. the following day, so officially beginning the trial on January 20 or 21, after Trump has already left office.

Following McConnell’s memo, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) urged McConnell to convene the Senate early under legislation passed in 2004 allowing the Senate to convene in “times of emergency.” Schumer declared that “this is a time of emergency,” according to the Hill.

The minority leader, who will take over leadership of the Senate as soon as Georgia’s two newly elected Democrat senators are sworn in, said, “We can come back ASAP and vote to convict Donald Trump and get him out of office now before any further damage is done.”

A McConnell official reportedly told Axios in response to Wednesday’s announcement that “even if we started a trial yesterday, there’s not enough time to remove him from office.”

Write to Ashley Oliver at


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