The Senate impeachment trial of Republican President Donald Trump will likely start next week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday.
McConnell said he expects to get the articles from the House tomorrow after House Democrats said theyd vote on sending the articles over on Wednesday.
The Senate will then go through preliminary steps, possibly including having Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who will preside over the trial, sworn in.
That would set the Senate up to start the trial on Jan. 21, McConnell said.
“It looks possible as of right now, and I think thats likely to hold up,” McConnell said at a Republican Senate leadership press conference in Washington. He said the Senate would vote Tuesday on the initial trial guidelines.
Republicans have accused House Democrats of rushing the impeachment forward despite scant evidence, a charge they reiterated on Tuesday.
“I think its safe to say this is the most rushed, the most biased, and the most partisan impeachment process in history,” Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) told reporters, referring to the quick inquiry and the House vote to impeach Trump, which included no Republicans.
“Were going to do our constitutional duty here. … But I would certainly hope that in the future that impeachment is reserved for what I think the founders intended: that is a serious remedy for serious crimes.”
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said that “this process needs to be a process where everybody is heard and that the person who would benefit the most from everybody being heard is the president.”
“He hasnt had a chance to make his case. Hell have that chance in the Senate. The Senate owes that to him and I think the Congress owes that to the country. We cant just have a one-sided process that suddenly ends,” he added.
McConnell said that all 53 Senate Republicans still agree on voting for the initial trial guidelines, which will be “very, very similar” to the guidelines in the 1999 trial of President Bill Clinton. The guidelines wont include whether to include witnesses.
When the motion on whether to call witnesses does arise later in the trial, “Read More – Source