Former President Donald Trump’s indictment will begin during the week of February 8, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Friday, after the House of Representatives formally delivered the indictment to the House on Monday.
Schumer stressed the need to move quickly on the confirmation of President Joe Biden’s cabinet and other key officials. Schumer said executives – who serve as prosecutors in the Senate trial – and Trump’s defense team would have time to prepare between the time the only indictment accusing Trump of inciting an uprising is delivered on Monday and the start of the trial.
“During that period, the Senate will continue to do other business for the American people, such as cabinet nominations and the COVID bill that would provide relief to millions of Americans suffering from this pandemic,” Schumer said on the Senate floor.
Schumer became the leader of the House this week after the Democrats won two round elections in Georgia’s US Senate earlier this month.
The timeline was a compromise after Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell asked the Democratic House to postpone broadcasts until next Thursday and urged Schumer to postpone the trial until mid-February to give Trump more time to prepare a defense.
An assistant from McConnell said the trial could begin as soon as February 9 – a Tuesday – and that McConnell was pleased that the Democrats had given Trump’s defense more time.
“This is a win for justice and justice,” said Doug Andres, a spokesman for McConnell.
Trump’s accusation stems from his ardent speech to supporters before storming the Capitol on January 6.
“This accusation began with an unparalleled rapid and minimal process in the House,” McConnell said on Friday. “The sequel cannot be an inadequate Senate process that denies former President Trump his due process or harms the Senate or the Presidency itself.”
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters that the Senate should be able to move forward with both the trial and Biden’s agenda, beginning with his $ 1.9 trillion request for new COVID-19 support for Americans and the US economy.
“What cannot be delayed by this process is his proposal to bring relief to the American people in this time of crisis,” Psaki told reporters.
Senate rules had required a trial to begin at 1 p.m., the day after articles of parliament were delivered to the upper house of Congress, except Sundays.
But Senator Richard Durbin, Senate Democrat No. 2, told MSNBC that lawmakers would “sit down and map this out as best we can, using every available minute.”
The movements come when Schumer and McConnell are fighting to claim control in a House divided 50-50 where the Democrats have a majority thanks to Vice President Kamala Harris’ final leap.
“I can not imagine that both McConnell and Schumer do not want a little more structure here, and especially Schumer, leaving a little more time to move forward with the early decisions in Biden before we are locked in the trial,” Republican Senator Roy Blunt told report.
McConnell has insisted that Democrats guarantee that they will not stop the legislative filibuster, giving minority Republicans the power to block legislation run by the new Biden administration.
Schumer rejected McConnell’s claim on Friday, calling it an “unacceptable proposal.”
McConnell refused to admit, saying that maintaining the filibuster’s threshold of 60 votes to promote most legislation was a basis for the power-sharing agreement that was stored together in 2001, most recently the Senate was split 50-50.
Last week, Trump became the first president in U.S. history to be charged twice, and when the Senate convenes for his trial, the first president will be tried after leaving office.
Ten House Republicans joined the Democrats on January 13 to accuse him. The support of at least 17 Senate Republicans would be needed to convict him; a separate vote would then be needed to ban him from running again.
Such a vote could signal that older Republicans were anxious to remove Trump as the de facto leader of their party. He has said he can try to run again in 2024.
Trump’s fate may ultimately be due to McConnell, whose position is likely to affect other Republican lawmakers. The Republic of Kentucky said this week that the mob was “fed with lies” and “provoked by the president and other powerful people.”