- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sent a memo to Republican Senators explaining how an impeachment trial would play out.
- In the memo, obtained by The Washington Post, McConnell concludes the trial would not begin until after President Donald Trump leaves office.
- House Democrats have said they plan to impeach Trump for “incitement of an insurrection” following a deadly siege on the US Capitol by a violent mob of the president’s supporters.
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sent a memo to Republican Senators explaining how an impeachment trial would play out, The Washington Post reported.
House Democrats have said they plan to impeach President Donald Trump for “incitement of an insurrection” following a deadly siege on the US Capitol by a violent mob of the president’s supporters.
According to McConnell’s timeline in the memo obtained by The Post, there is no way Trump could be removed from office before President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated on January 20.
Since certifying the election results in the early morning hours of Thursday, the Senate is in recess until January 19 and therefore cannot begin impeachment trial proceedings before then without the unlikely consent of all 100 senators, McConnell said.
If the House does send articles of impeachment, the Senate can receive and respond when it returns on January 19. However, McConnell said the Senate Impeachment Rules require members of the House to exhibit the articles one day after the Senate says it is prepared to receive them.
Without the Senate requesting them early, that would mean January 20, Inauguration Day.
McConnell concluded the Senate trial would ultimately begin either one hour or 25 hours after the conclusion of Trump’s term.
—Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) January 9, 2021
At the start of Biden’s term, Sen. Chuck Schumer will take over from McConnell as majority leader, putting him at the helm of the impeachment trial.
Aides to the senators told The Post that Schumer and McConnell have not discussed the impeachment trial.
In a draft article of impeachment, House Democrats said, “President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of government.”
“He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coordinated branch of government,” the draft said.
The White House denounced the possible impeachment in a statement: “A politically motivated impeachment against a President with 12 days remaining in his term will only serve to further divide our great country.”