The impeachment trial of U.S. President Donald Trump could begin as early as next week, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday.
senate republican leader Mitch McConnell said the house could send articles of impeachment to the Senate on Wednesday. The Senate will begin preliminary work on the impeachment process later this week, with the trial likely to begin next Tuesday.
Mr. McConnell said Republican senators agreed on how to proceed with the impeachment trial. The senate’s impeachment trial resolution will decide whether to call witnesses after opening arguments.
Mr. McConnell said the House vote on Wednesday would pave the way for the senate to begin considering impeachment charges against Mr. Trump next week. He said the senate would first deal with internal matters, such as the swearing-in of lawmakers, and formally read out the two impeachment charges later this week.
Mr. McConnell announced the preliminary schedule just hours after house speaker Nancy Pelosi revealed she would submit articles of impeachment against Mr. Trump to the Senate on Wednesday.
If that happens, Mr. McConnell said at a news conference, the Senate could move forward this week with the swearing-in of chief justice John Roberts and ‘other housekeeping measures.’
“We hope to be able to do this with the consent of the parties so that we can begin the actual trial next Tuesday,” McConnell said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Democrats on Tuesday morning that the house of representatives would pass a resolution appointing a manager for impeachment on Wednesday and vote on whether to send articles of impeachment to the senate.
Pelosi has yet to name the managers for impeachment, but house intelligence committee chairman Adam Schiff and New York house judiciary committee jerry Nadler are expected to be among them, ABC News reported Tuesday.
The impeachment trial of US President Donald Trump could begin in full next week, according to a senior republican in the US senate.
Senator John Cornyn of Texas said he expected the trial to begin on January 21. “It feels like next Tuesday,” Cornyn told reporters.
Mr. Trump is only the third President in US history to be impeached. On December 8, 2019, the US house of representatives passed two articles of impeachment against President Trump, namely “abuse of power” and “obstruction of congressional investigation”.
The house accused Mr. Trump of obstructing Congress and abusing his power to pressure Ukraine to announce an investigation into his Democratic rival Joe Biden.
Earlier, Pelosi repeatedly delayed plans to introduce articles of impeachment for President Donald Trump after failing to reach an agreement with the senate on the terms of his impeachment trial.
Analysts have suggested that Pelosi is effectively stalling the impeachment trial to get senate republican leader to mitch McConnell to agree to add new witness testimony that could be used against President Trump.
But pressure is mounting on Ms. Pelosi to file articles of impeachment, not only from Republicans but also from Democrats.
Before the articles can be submitted, the house still has to vote on the names of the administrators or members of the house who will act as prosecutors in the Senate trial of the President.
On January 11, President Trump accused Pelosi and the Democrats, reiterating that the democratic hearings were “unfair and biased” and “have no effect other than to prove my complete innocence.” Mr. Trump also repeated his claim that ms Pelosi would be “the worst speaker of the house in history”.
In a senate trial, if more than a two-thirds majority finds President trump guilty, he will be fired and vice President pence will take over. But if no more than two-thirds of lawmakers believe he is guilty, he will be fully pardoned and remain in office.
In the current senate, republicans hold 53 seats, Democrats 45 and independents two.
The Senate is expected to acquit trump because none of the 53 republican senators have yet expressed support for removing him from office, and impeachment requires a vote of at least two-thirds of the 100 senators.
According to CNN, the Democrats currently have a weak majority in the senate, while republicans control the chamber with a 53-45 majority. Passage of articles of impeachment requires a supermajority if at least 67 senators agree to impeach Mr. Trump.