The Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives will deliver an impeachment charge against former President Donald Trump to the Senate on Monday, rejecting Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s request for a delay.
Senate Majority Leader, Chuck Schumer, who displaced McConnell as the chamber’s leader after Democrats won two Georgia runoff elections this month, announced the move on the Senate floor on Friday.
Schumer did not say when Trump’s second impeachment trial would begin. But he emphasized the need to move quickly on confirmation of President Joe Biden’s Cabinet and other key administration officials.
“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,” Schumer said.
House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, confirmed the plan in a statement.
His remarks came the morning after McConnell asked the House to delay sending the charges until next Thursday, and called on Schumer to postpone the trial until mid-February to give Trump more time to prepare a defence against the charge that he incited an insurrection by his supporters who stormed the Capitol on January 6.
“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 rules call for an impeachment trial to begin at 1 p.m. on the day after articles of impeachment are delivered to the upper legislative chamber of Congress, except for Sundays.
But Senator Richard Durbin, the No. 2 Senate Democrat, told MSNBC that lawmakers would “sit down and map this out as best we can, use every available minute.”
The moves come as Schumer and McConnell are struggling to assert control in a 50-50 chamber where Democrats hold a razor-thin majority thanks to Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote.
“I can’t imagine that both McConnell and Schumer don’t want to have a little more structure here, and particularly Schumer, leave a little more time to move forward with the early Biden decisions before we get locked into the trial,” Republican Senator Roy Blunt told reporters.