Senate to Commence Donald Trump’s Second Impeachment Trial on February 8th
The United States Senate will begin former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial on Monday, February 8th, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced on Friday evening. The Constitution requires deliberations to commence at 1:00 p.m. one day after the Senate receives the indictment from the House of Representatives unless a separate agreement is reached among Senate leadership.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said late Thursday that she will be sending the single article to the Senate on Monday.
Trump was impeached by the House on January 13th for inciting an insurrection upon the United States Capitol on January 6th, which disrupted the congressional certification of the 2020 election and left five people dead.
Trump is the only president in American history to be impeached twice.
“There will be a trial and when that trial ends, Senators will have to decide whether Donald John Trump incited the insurrection against the United States,” Schumer said on the Senate floor. “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.”
A growing number of Republican lawmakers, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), have indicated that they may be willing to convict Trump. Doing so requires the consent of 67 Senators – 2/3 of the chamber.
McConnell said on Thursday that the trial will be a “full and fair process” and that Trump is still entitled to “due process.”
Other Republicans, however, have cautioned that Trump’s trial will delay crucial legislative priorities like passing another economic stimulus package, as well as attending to the confirmation of nominees to President Joe Biden’s Cabinet.
“Absent some agreement, we won’t be doing any confirmations, we won’t be doing any COVID-19 relief, we won’t be doing anything else other than impeaching the person who’s not even president,” Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) told reporters on Friday.
The Senate is currently split 50-50 along partisan lines, but because Vice President Kamala Harris is a Democrat, her party holds a slim, one-seat majority.
This story was updated.