POLITICS. Republican leader in the United States Senate, Mitch McConnell, talks to the media while leaving the Capitol
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday calmed tension over the idea of impeachment during Trump’s final days in office, stating that it would not be possible for the chamber to complete those procedures sooner. Biden is sworn in on January 20.
In a statement shortly after the House voted to impeach Trump a second time, McConnell said the Senate process will begin “at our first regular meeting after receiving the House article.”
“Given the Senate rules, procedures, and precedents governing presidential impeachment trials, there is simply no chance that a fair or serious trial will conclude before President-elect Biden is sworn in next week,” McConnell said.
He added that even if the process began this week, “a final verdict would not be reached until after President Trump has left office.”
“In light of this reality, I believe it will be best for our nation if Congress and the executive branch spend the next seven days fully focused on facilitating a safe takeover and orderly transfer of power to the incoming Biden administration,” McConnell said.
Earlier Wednesday, McConnell sent a note to his Republican colleagues telling them he has not made a final decision on how he would vote on Trump’s impeachment. The New York Times reported that McConnell has told people that he sees impeachment as a way to “purge [a Trump] of the party “.
McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy have not tried to stop Democrats’ efforts to hold Trump accountable for the January 6 attack, although McCarthy voted against Trump’s impeachment on Wednesday. None of the Republican leaders have asked Trump to resign.
Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said in a statement that regardless of timing, there will be a trial in the Senate.
“A trial in the Senate may begin immediately, with the agreement of the current Senate Majority Leader to reconvene the Senate for an emergency session, or it will begin after January 19,” Schumer said in a statement. “But make no mistake, there will be a political trial in the United States Senate; there will be a vote to convict the president of serious crimes and misdemeanors; and if the president is convicted, there will be a vote to prohibit him from running again. “
Trump’s actions, Schumer added, “cannot and should not be tolerated, excused or go unpunished.”
Text taken and translated from The Washington Post