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McConnell Wants to Delay Trump's Impeachment Trial

GOP leader wants February start, but Schumer hasn't answered
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2021 5:20 PM CST

(Newser) – Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is in no hurry for the Senate impeachment trial of former President Trump to begin. He's told Democrats he wants the trial to begin sometime in February, which would allow both sides at least a week to prepare for the proceeding, CBS reports. That's not what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is thinking. "It will be soon, I don’t think it will be long, but we must do it," she said Thursday. The trial could follow almost immediately if Pelosi sends the article of impeachment—which charges Trump with "incitement of insurrection"—to the Senate on Friday, per the AP. Trump wouldn't have the help of the White House counsel's office, as he did in his first impeachment trial, so he's been looking for lawyers to defend him in the Senate. But Trump doesn't deserve a "get out of jail card" just because he's out of office this time, Pelosi said.

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The nine House impeachment managers are already working on their case. Republicans are pitching a February start to Democrats as a way to get some of President Biden's nominees confirmed quickly, per NBC. They also say it could help COVID-19 relief legislation to get through Congress quickly. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Thursday that he and McConnell are negotiating the terms of the trial. Those decisions are no longer up to McConnell, who is now the Senate's minority leader, and Schumer hasn't given him an answer on the start date yet. The White House repeated that President Biden will leave those matters up to Senate Democrats. Whenever it starts, Democrats said, there will be a trial. It would be "harmful to unity," Pelosi said, to forget that "people died here on Jan. 6th, the attempt to undermine our election, to undermine our democracy, to dishonor our Constitution." (Read more Trump impeachment stories.)

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