House Speaker Nancy Pelosi plans to send the article of impeachment against Donald Trump to the Senate on Monday, launching the start of the former President’s trial on a charge of incitement of insurrection over the deadly Capitol riot.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced the schedule on Friday.
“There will be a trial,” Mr. Schumer said. “It will be a full trial, it will be a fair trial”
Mr. Trump is the first President to be twice impeached and the first to face a trial after leaving office.
While the transmission of the article launches the trial, the schedule ahead remains uncertain.
On Thursday, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell proposed pushing back the start Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial to February to give the former President time to prepare and review his case.
House Democrats who voted to impeach Mr. Trump last week for inciting the deadly January 6 Capitol riot say a full reckoning is necessary before the country — and the Congress — can move on.
More time sought
But Mr. McConnell in a statement on Thursday evening suggested a more expansive timeline that would see the House transmit the article of impeachment next week, on January 28, launching the trial’s first phase. After that, the Senate would give the President’s defence team and House prosecutors two weeks to file briefs. Arguments in the trial would likely begin in mid-February.
“Senate Republicans are strongly united behind the principle that the institution of the Senate, the office of the presidency, and former President Trump himself all deserve a full and fair process that respects his rights and the serious factual, legal, and constitutional questions at stake, especially given the unprecedented speed of the House process,” Mr. McConnell said.
A trial delay would have appealed to some Democrats. Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware, a key ally of the President Biden, told CNN that Democrats would consider a delay “if we are making progress on confirming the very talented, seasoned and diverse team that President Joe Biden has nominated.
Ms. Pelosi said Mr. Trump doesn’t deserve a “get-out-of-jail card” just because he has left office and Mr. Biden and others are calling for national unity.
Trump’s defence team
Facing his second impeachment trial in two years, Mr. Trump began to assemble his defence team by hiring attorney Butch Bowers to represent him, according to an adviser. Mr. Bowers previously served as counsel to former South Carolina Governors Nikki Haley and Mark Sanford.
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina helped Mr. Trump find Mr. Bowers after members of his past legal teams indicated they did not plan to join the new effort. Mr. Trump is at a disadvantage compared to his first trial, in which he had the full resources of the White House counsel’s office to defend him.
Ms. Pelosi’s nine impeachment managers, who will be prosecuting the House case, have been regularly meeting to discuss strategy.
Shortly before the January 6 insurrection, Mr. Trump told thousands of his supporters at a rally near the White House to “fight like hell” against the election results that Congress was certifying. A mob marched down to the Capitol and rushed in, interrupting the count. Five people, including a Capitol Police officer, died in the mayhem.