WASHINGTON (AP) – Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has proposed returning the start of Donald Trump’s impeachment trial in February to give the former president time to prepare and review his case.
House Democrats who voted to attack Trump last week to provoke the deadly mass. 6 The Capital Riot has indicated that they want to conduct a trial as soon as possible as President Joe Biden begins his term, stating that a full count is required before the country and Congress. Move ahead.
But McConnell, in a statement on Thursday evening, suggested a more elaborate timeline, which would broadcast the impeachment article on 28 January next week to the House, launching the first phase of the trial. After that, the Senate will give the President’s defense team and House prosecutors two weeks to file briefs. Arguments in the trial are likely to begin in mid-February.
“Senate Republicans are firmly united behind the principle that the president’s institution, the office of the presidency, and former President Trump themselves all deserve a complete and fair process that respects their rights and serious factual, legal, and constitutional questions ., “Especially given the unprecedented pace of the House process, McConnell said.
A spokesman said most of the Senate leaders Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., are reviewing the plan and will discuss it with McConnell. The two leaders are also in talks about how the new 50-50 Senate will work and how they will balance other priorities.
A trial delay could appeal to some Democrats, as it would give the Senate more time to confirm Biden’s cabinet nominees and debate a new round of coronovirus relief. Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware, a key aide to the president, told CNN that Democrats would consider a delay “if we are to confirm a very talented, experienced and diverse team that has been nominated to President Joe Biden.”
The ultimate power over timing rests with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who at any point can send the start of the trial to the Senate on charges of inciting a rebellion. The California Democrat has not yet said when she will do so.
“It will be too soon. I don’t think it will be long, but we have to do it,” Pelosi said on Thursday. He said Trump does not deserve a “get-out-of-jail card” because he Has left office and Biden and others are calling for national unity.
Facing his second impeachment trial in two years, Trump began assembling his defense team by hiring attorney Butch Bowers to represent him, according to an adviser. Bowers served as a lawyer for the former South Carolina government. Nikki Haley and Mark Sanford.
Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina helped Trump find Bowers after signaling to members of his previous legal teams that he did not plan to join the new effort. Trump is at a disadvantage compared to his first trial, which had the entire resources of the White House attorney’s office to defend him.
Pelosi’s nine impeachment managers, who will hear the House’s case, have been meeting regularly to discuss the strategy. Pelosi said she would talk to him in the next few days, when the Senate could be ready for trial.
Shortly before the January 6 uprising, Trump told thousands of his supporters at a rally near the White House that there was a “hell-like fight” against the results that Congress was certifying. A crowd rushed to the Capitol and rushed in, interrupting the count. Five people, including a Capitol police officer, died in the devastation, and the House impeached Trump a week later, with 10 Republicans supporting all Democrats.
Pelosi said it would be “harmful to unity” to forget that “people died here on 6 January, attempting to weaken our election, weaken our democracy, defame our Constitution.”
Trump was acquitted of his first impeachment trial by the Republican-led Senate. The White House legal team, aided by Trump’s personal lawyers, aggressively countered the House’s allegations that it had encouraged the President of Ukraine to investigate Biden in exchange for military aid. This time, Pelosi said, the House is not trying to blame the president on private conversations, but for a very public uprising that he himself experienced and which was played on live television.
“This year, the entire world witnessed the president’s provocation,” Pelosi said.
Sen. Dick Dubin of Illinois, the No. 2 Senate Democrat, said it’s still too early to know how long the trial will take or whether Democrats would want to call a witness. But he said, “You don’t have to tell us what we were doing with the crowd scene that we were running down the ladder to escape.”
McConnell, who said this week that Trump had “provoked” his supporters before the riots, did not say how he would vote. He told his GOP colleagues that it would be the conscience.
Democrats will need the support of at least 17 Republicans to convict Trump a high time. While a handful of Senate Republicans have indicated they are open to sentencing, most said they believe a trial would be divisive and questioned the legitimacy of trying the president after he leaves office.
Graham said that if he were Trump’s lawyer, he would focus on that argument and the merits of the case – and whether it was “abetment” under the law.
“I think public record is your television screen,” Graham said. “So, I don’t see why it would take a long time.”
Meg Kinnard, author of The Associated Press in Columbia, SC, and West Palm Beach, Fla. Jill Colvin contributed to this report.