Schumer said the Senate will “continue to do other business,” such as confirming candidates for the executive branch and working on a coronavirus relief package, before the trial begins the week of February 8th. On the previous Friday, Biden announced that he would support a later hearing to allow his administration to “get operational”.
Schumer added: “We all want to leave this terrible chapter in our nation’s history behind us.”
“But healing and unity will only come when there is truth and accountability. And that is exactly what this process will provide,” said the New York Democrat.
The riot earlier this month disrupted the Congressional count of Biden’s election victory, leaving five dead, including a Capitol policeman. The House indicted Trump a week after the riot, when 10 Republicans along with all 222 Democrats voted to indict him. Trump became the first President to be indicted by the House twice.
It will take 67 votes for the Senate to convict him. If all 50 Democrats support a guilty verdict, it will take 17 Republicans to join them.
If the Senate condemns Trump, it can in future hold him back from office with a separate vote.
Earlier on Friday, Senate Minority Chairman Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Voiced concerns that Trump would not have enough time to build a defense. He asked the House to air the article on January 28th to ensure “a full and fair trial.”
In a statement Friday, House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. Said Trump had “the same amount of time to prepare for the trial” as House impeachment executives. You will represent the case in the House before the Senate.
Trump hired South Carolina attorney Butch Bowers to defend him during the trial. The nine impeachment managers are Democratic Representatives Jamie Raskin from Maryland, Diana DeGette from Colorado, David Cicilline from Rhode Island, Joaquin Castro from Texas, Eric Swalwell and Ted Lieu from California, Stacey Plaskett, US Virgin Islands delegate, Madeleine Dean from Pennsylvania and Joe Neguse of Colorado.
Pelosi claimed Thursday that managers would not have to prepare as much evidence for the second trial as they did for the first last year.
“This year the whole world witnessed the president’s instigation, call to action and violence,” the California Democrat told reporters.
The first trial against Trump last year for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress lasted about three weeks. The Republican-held Senate acquitted him.
Schumer downplayed GOP concerns that the Democrats would rush through the process after a quick trial in the House.
“It will be a full process. It will be a fair process,” he said earlier on Friday.
McConnell has not indicated whether he will vote to condemn Trump. On Tuesday he said the rioters were “provoked by the president and other powerful people.”
Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski from Alaska and Pat Toomey from Pennsylvania called on Trump to step down while he was still in office. Nobody said how they would vote on the conviction.
Murkowski said in a statement earlier this month that the House responded to the attack on the Capitol “swiftly and I believe appropriately with impeachment”.
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