THE TIMELINE FOR President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial is unclear as Democrats weigh how to manage a time-consuming proceeding whilst also pursuing the ancient agenda of President-elect Joe Biden.
Regardless of if the trial starts, the infrequent proceeding is set to float with the first days of Biden's presidency. The president-elect will be sworn in on Wednesday, just one week after the House voted with bipartisan support to control Trump with"incitement of insurrection" for his role in last week's riots at the U.S. Capitol.
The timing of the trial is a tenuous question for Democrats who wish to move fast on Biden's legislative agenda, such as his newly released COVID-19 rescue strategy in addition to the confirmation of his Cabinet now that they'll have majorities in both chambers of Congress.
When the trial begins, the Senate's afternoons will be consumed with a trial every day with the exception of Sundays. The previous three impeachment trials have lasted anywhere from three months to almost 3 months. Biden, meanwhile, is asking the Senate to divide its time between holding the trial and working on processing his Cabinet confirmations and ancient agenda items.
At a Friday press conference from the Capitol, Pelosi refrained from providing a sense of the deadline for how Democrats plan to proceed with the impeachment resolution. For Trump's last trial, Pelosi held on the 2 posts for many weeks before committing them to the Senate because she wished to first hear from Republicans about the arrangement of the proceeding in the upper chamber.
Pelosi has tapped nine House supervisors whom she stated are"focusing on taking this trial" to prosecute the case for Trump's certainty. Three of those directors are the writers of the Latest article of impeachment enforced against Trump: Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Rep. Ted Lieu of California and Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland.
"One week later, Wednesday on Wednesday, that president was impeached in a bipartisan manner by the House of Representatives. They are working on taking this to trial, and you will be the first to know when we announce that we're going over there," Pelosi told reporters Friday.
Democrats could also possibly hold onto the article indefinitely so that the Senate can place its singular focus on confirming Biden's Cabinet nominees.
Despite some Democratic pleas, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stated Wednesday that he wouldn't reconvene the Senate at an earlier date for an emergency session and the trial will probably likely start next week after the inauguration. The Kentucky Republican has told colleagues privately that he remains undecided on convicting the president.
The oldest the trial could begin is Tuesday, when the Senate comes back from recess -- and when the House decides to transmit the impeachment resolution.
A two-thirds bulk, or 67 senators, is required to convict a president, a high threshold for Democrats to meet. And at a 50-50 split Senate, the celebration will need at least 17 Republicans to vote with them if all Democrats remain unified in support of certainty.
So far, no Senate Republicans have said if they will vote to convict. But most have condemned Trump's rhetoric, which they say played a part in encouraging supporters to storm the Capitol and halt the certification of Biden's Electoral College victory. Others have left the door open to possibly support certainty, such as Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, who formerly said he'll"seriously consider" the content of impeachment against Trump.
After the House's vote Wednesday, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska known as impeachment"appropriate," though she did not indicate how she'll vote in the trial. Murkowksi, who is up for reelection in 2022, was regarded as a swing vote in Trump' first trial but ultimately voted to acquit.
"I shall do what I'm required and entrusted to perform as a senator, as efficiently listening to this trial and proceeding, and I shall make that determination at that time," Murkowski told Alaska's KTUU-TV on Wednesday. "But what I could tell you is that what I think is that this president has committed an impeachable offense through his words about the 6th of January, also leading up to the 6th of January, when he wasn't fair to the American public about the election and the election results."
Just one Republican, Mitt Romeny of Utah, voted with Democrats to defraud Trump on one of the articles: abuse of power.
Incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York has said that when Trump is convicted, the Senate will take another vote barring him from holding elected office again. Contrary to the two-thirds majority needed to convict, the vote to block Trump from holding"any office of honour, trust or profit under the United States" just needs a simple majority.