The Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives will deliver its article of impeachment against former President Donald Trump to the Senate on Monday, rejecting Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s request for a delay.
“The House will deliver the article of impeachment to the Senate. The Senate will conduct a trial of the impeachment of Donald Trump. It will be a full trial. It will be a fair trial,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who displaced McConnell as the Senate leader after Democrats won two Georgia runoff elections this month. Schumer announced the move on the Senate floor on Friday, paving the way for Trump’s impeachment trial to start as soon as next week.
"Make no mistake, a trial will be held in the United States Senate and there will be a vote whether to convict the president. I've spoken to Speaker Pelosi, who informed me that the articles will be delivered to the Senate on Monday," he added. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi confirmed the plan in a statement, saying the House's impeachment managers "are ready to begin to make their case to 100 Senate jurors through the trial process."
The announcement from Schumer rejects the request from McConnell, who on Thursday requested that Trump's impeachment trial be delayed until mid-February. McConnell proposed that the House send the impeachment charge to the Senate on January 28, and that Trump be given two weeks after that to prepare his pre-trial brief, before the Senate trial starts. He wants to give Trump’s legal team until February 11 to submit its pre-trial brief.
“This impeachment began with an unprecedentedly fast and minimal process over in the House,” McConnell said on Friday. “The sequel cannot be an insufficient Senate process that denies former President Trump his due process or damages the Senate or the presidency itself.”
“Senate Republicans strongly believe we need a full and fair process where the former president can mount a defense and the Senate can properly consider the factual, legal and constitutional questions at stake,” McConnell said from the floor.
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a press conference on Friday that the Senate should deal with both the trial and President Joe Biden’s agenda to help the U.S. economy hit by the COVID-19 crisis. “What cannot be delayed through this process is his proposal to get relief to the American people at this time of crisis,” Psaki told reporters.
A two-thirds majority vote would be required in the Senate for a conviction, barring Trump from running for office again. But this would require at least 17 Republican votes if every Democrat votes to convict Trump.