Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) declared that former President Donald Trump's impeachment trial would commence on the week of February 8.
Trump's Impeachment Trial
Schumer announced the schedule upon reaching an agreement with Republicans to conduct the trial in February.
The trial follows Trump's impeachment in the House of Representatives previously this January on a charge of inciting violence.
House Majority Leader Chuck Schumer stated the charge against Trump stemmed from his provoking speech to supporters before the U.S. Capitol siege on January 6. With the role of prosecutors in the trial, it would be presented to the Senate at 7 PM EST (midnight GMT) on Monday by House members.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is slated to transfer the article of impeachment against the former president to the Senate on Monday, initiating the beginning of the former president's trial.
The Senate cannot commence its trial until the article is formally sent over from the House. The House voted 232-197 for Trump to be impeached on the charge of "incitement of insurrection."
According to Schumer, "Both the House managers and the defense will have a period of time to draft their legal briefs just as they did in previous trials. Once the briefs are drafted, the presentation by the parties will commence the week of February 8," reported Xinhuanet.
The newly declared schedule depicts a negotiation struck by Senate leaders to postpone the significant portion of the trial for two weeks so that the chamber may initiate other crucial proceedings, including confirmation of President Joe Biden's cabinet nominees.
Also Read: Sen. Lindsey Graham to Senate: Reject Trump's Impeachment Trial for the Sake of 'National Healing'
Republicans had pushed for a postponement to provide the former president an opportunity to organize his legal team and prepare a defense on the charge of incitement of insurrection.
Aside from confirming President Joe Biden's Cabinet nominations, the February start date also allows the Senate more time to consider his proposed $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package. These are top priorities of the new White House agenda that could become stalled amid the trial process.
As the House impeachment managers and Trump's defense team draft their legal briefs, the Senate will simultaneously continue with other work. Both sides will start to present on the week of February 8.
According to Schumer, the January 6 siege at the U.S. Capitol provoked by Trump was a day no one will forget. He said we all want this tragic chapter in the history of the United States behind us. He added that healing and unity would merely come if there are truth and accountability, which will be proffered by the trial, reported CBS News.
Despite the fact that Trump is no longer president, the Senate could still convict him and vote to prohibit him from running for office a second time.
The first time Trump was impeached by the House, he was acquitted by the Senate in February 2020 (with merely one Republican voting in favor of one article of impeachment).