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Nancy Pelosi to trigger Donald Trump impeachment trial next week despite calls for delay

April Roach
·2-min read
<p>Donald Trump makes a fist during a rally to contest the certification 2020 US presidential election</p> (Reuters)

Donald Trump makes a fist during a rally to contest the certification 2020 US presidential election

(Reuters)

Donald Trump’s impeachment trial over his role in inciting the violent Capitol riots could begin as early as next week in the Senate, according to Democrats.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will send the article of impeachment against Mr Trump to the Senate on Monday, thereby triggering the trial process.

According to the current rules, Mr Trump’s trial could start on Tuesday after the article of impeachment has been sent to the Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced the schedule on Friday.

"The Senate will conduct a trial of the impeachment of Donald Trump,” he said.

“It will be a full trial. It will be a fair trial.”

Mitch McConnell, ex-Republican majority leader in the Senate, which is now under Democrat control, proposed delaying the start of the trial to February to give the former president time to prepare and review his case.

But House Democrats have said they want to move quickly to trial so Congress can move on.

Mr McConnell said: “Senate Republicans are strongly united behind the principle that the institution of the Senate, the office of the presidency, and former President Trump himself all deserve a full and fair process that respects his rights and the serious factual, legal, and constitutional questions at stake.”

A spokesperson said Mr Schumer is reviewing the plan and will discuss it with Mr McConnell.

A trial delay might appeal to some Democrats as it would give the Senate more time to confirm President Joe Biden’s Cabinet nominees and debate a new round of coronavirus relief.

Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware told CNN that Democrats would consider a delay "if we are making progress on confirming the very talented, seasoned and diverse team that President Joe Biden has nominated”.

But Ms Pelosi said Mr Trump does not deserve a "get-out-of-jail card" just because he has left office.

Mr Trump is the first American president to be impeached twice.

Democrats would need the support of at least 17 Republicans to convict Mr Trump. While a handful of Senate Republicans have indicated they are open to conviction, most have said they believe a trial will be divisive and questioned the legality of trying a president after he has left office.

Shortly before the breach of the Capitol building in Washington on January 6, Mr Trump told thousands of his supporters at a rally near the White House to “fight like hell” against the election results that Congress was certifying.

A mob marched down to the Capitol and rushed in, interrupting the count.

Five people, including a Capitol Police officer, died in the mayhem, and the House impeached Mr Trump a week later, with 10 Republicans joining all Democrats in support.

Additional reporting by Associated Press.

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