Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) revealed Friday that the House plans to deliver the impeachment article against former President Donald Trump to the Senate on Monday.
Schumer said while speaking on the Senate floor that he had talked about the matter with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who had, until Friday, remained silent on her plans to deliver the article, which the House passed 232–197 against Trump last week for “incitement of insurrection” over the deadly January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
Schumer’s announcement, as Politico noted, means the impeachment trial would have to begin within one day of receipt of the article if the Senate is in session unless Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) agree on a different timetable.
“I’ve been speaking to the Republican leader about the timing and duration of the trial, but make no mistake, a trial will be held in the United States Senate, and there will be a vote on whether to convict the president,” Schumer said.
McConnell has proposed delaying the start of impeachment until mid-February to allow time for Trump to prepare a defense. McConnell continued to hold this stance Friday, saying after Schumer’s remarks, “This impeachment began with an unprecedentedly fast and minimal process over in the House. The sequel cannot be an insufficient Senate process that denies former President Trump his due process or damages the Senate or the presidency itself.”
Some senators, such as Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Tom Cotton (R-AR), have argued that the impeachment trial of a former president is unconstitutional. Graham stated after the article was passed that the text of the Constitution makes “manifestly clear that the Congress is without the constitutional power to impeach a president, once he has left office.” Cotton, likewise, stated that “the Founders designed the impeachment process as a way to remove officeholders from public office—not an inquest against private citizens.”
Schumer rejected this line of argument Friday, saying it has been “roundly repudiated, debunked by hundreds of constitutional scholars, left, right, and center, and defies basic common sense.”
He accused those deeming a trial unconstitutional of attempting to “delay the inevitable” and reiterated that a “full” and “fair” trial will occur.
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