Trump's impeachment trial in Senate to begin on February 8
(Sourced from PTI)
The United States Senate would begin the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump on February 8, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said. Both the Republicans and the Democrats have 50 seats each in the 100 member Senate. However, the crucial vote of Vice President Kamala Harris as the Chairman of the Senate gives the Democrats a majority in the Senate.
Schumer said, "The January 6th insurrection at the Capitol incited by Donald Trump was a day none of us will ever forget. We all want to put this awful chapter in our nation's history behind us." "But healing and unity will only come if there is truth and accountability and that is what this trial will provide," he added.
Giving details of the impeachment process, Schumer said, "The House managers will come to read the article of impeachment at 7 pm on Monday. Members will then be sworn in the next day." "After that, both the house managers and the defense will have a period of time to draft their legal briefs, just as they did in previous trials," he added.
Schumer said, "During that period, the Senate will continue to do other business for the American people, such as Cabinet nominations and the COVID-19 relief bill, which would provide relief for millions of Americans who are suffering during this pandemic." "Then, once the briefs are drafted, presentations by the parties will commence in the week of February 8," he added.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said that the impeachment began with an unprecedentedly fast and minimal process in the house. "The sequel cannot be an insufficient Senate process that denies former president Donald Trump his due process or damages the Senate or the presidency itself," he said. Meanwhile, the Republican leader suggested that the impeachment trial begin on February 11.
McConnell said, "That timeline would have provided the Senate some more floor time before we step fully into the unknown of a trial." "Senate Republicans strongly believe we need 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," he added.
However, the ruling Democrats did not agree to McConnell's timeline. Earlier on Friday, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the article of impeachment for incitement of insurrection by Trump will be delivered to the Senate on Monday, January 25.
Pelosi says, "We are respectful of the Senate's constitutional power over the trial and are always attentive to the fairness of the process. The former president will have had the same amount of time to prepare for trial as our managers." "Our managers are ready to begin to make their case to 100 Senate jurors through the trial process," she added.
The lead House managers to deliver the article of impeachment would be Congressman Jamie Raskin, along with lawmakers Diana DeGette, David Cicilline, Joaquin Castro, Eric Swalwell, Ted Lieu, Stacey Plaskett, Madeleine Dean, and Joe Neguse.
Further, the White House insisted that the impeachment trial and other business of the Congress can be held simultaneously. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, "When the trial was being conducted last January, there were also hearings that were happening nearly on a daily basis, and we expect that type of work to continue."