House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will transmit the single article of impeachment against former President Donald Trump to the Senate on Monday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced Friday.
Schumer, speaking on the Senate floor, said in no uncertain terms that there will be an impeachment trial and a Senate vote on whether to convict Trump, whose term as president ended Wednesday when President Joe Biden was inaugurated.
“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.
“It makes no sense whatsoever that a president or any official could commit a heinous crime against our country and then be permitted to resign so as to avoid accountability and a vote to disbar them from future office,” Schumer argued. “Makes no sense.”
Senate Democrats and Republicans are in the midst of negotiations on when the impeachment trial should start, with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) pushing for the trial to be delayed until February, according to multiple reports.
On Thursday, Politico’s Playbook email reported that lawmakers were privately discussing a three-day impeachment trial for Trump, which would be the fastest of any trial for a president in U.S. history. However, Republicans want their impeachment managers and Trump’s lawyers to have adequate time to prepare for the trial, which is why McConnell is reportedly asking for a delay.
“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,” McConnell said in a statement. “Given the unprecedented speed of the House’s process, our proposed timeline for the initial phases includes a modest and reasonable amount of additional time for both sides to assemble their arguments before the Senate would begin to hear them.”
At least some Democrats are open to the possibility of delaying the impeachment trial.
Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) told CNN on Friday that Democrats may be open to a quid pro quo where Republicans work to confirm Biden’s Cabinet nominees before the trial starts, giving Trump’s legal team time to mount a defense.
“I think Democrats will be open to considering a delay that allows former President Trump time to assemble his legal team and his defense for the impeachment trial if we are making progress on confirming the very talented, seasoned, and diverse team that President Joe Biden has nominated to serve in his cabinet,” Coons said.