WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Friday the President Donald Trump impeachment trial will begin the week of Feb. 8. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is set to send the article of impeachment against Donald Trump to the Senate on Monday, launching the start of the former president’s trial.
The Senate cannot begin its trial until the article is formally sent over from the House, which voted 232-197 to impeach Trump on a charge of “incitement of insurrection” last week. The move came one week after the deadly riots at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, and made Trump the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice.
“There will be a trial,” Schumer said in making the announcement Friday. “It will be a full trial, it will be a fair trial.”
“Exactly one week after the attack on the Capitol to undermine the integrity of our democracy, a bipartisan vote of the House of Representatives passed the article of impeachment, which is our solemn duty to deliver to the Senate,” she said in a statement.
While the transmission of the article launches the trial proceedings, the schedule ahead remains uncertain as the Senate, now in Democratic control, is also working to swiftly confirm President Joe Biden’s Cabinet nominees and tackle the new administration’s legislative priorities.
Biden says the Senate can do both and Schumer said he is also speaking to Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell about the “timing and duration” of the proceedings ahead.
“Senate Republicans strongly believe we need a full and fair process,” McConnell said after Schumer spoke. On Thursday he proposed delaying the start of Trump’s trial to February to give the former president time to prepare and review his case. Trump is still assembling his legal team.
Under the extended timeline McConnell proposed, the president’s defense team and House prosecutors would have two weeks to file briefs. Arguments would likely begin in mid-February.
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 coronavirus relief.
Facing his second impeachment trial in two years, Trump began to assemble his defense team by hiring attorney Butch Bowers to represent him, according to an adviser. Bowers previously served as counsel to former South Carolina Govs. Nikki Haley and Mark Sanford.
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina helped Trump find Bowers after members of his past legal teams indicated they did not plan to join the new effort.
Pelosi’s nine impeachment managers, who will be prosecuting the House case, have been regularly meeting to discuss strategy.
This is a developing story. Check back for more updates.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.