US Senate's Schumer reviewing Republican push to delay Trump impeachment trial

22 Janvier, 2021, 08:49 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Doug Mills-Pool  Getty Images

The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to make Donald Trump the first president ever to be impeached twice, formally charging him in his waning days in power with inciting an insurrection. She said Trump doesn't deserve a "get out of jail card" in his historic second impeachment just because he has left office and President Joe Biden and others are calling for national unity.

McConnell said in a statement that he asked Democrats to hold off on sending the impeachment charge to the Senate until January 28, and then give Trump two weeks from that day to prepare a defense.

Schumer is in charge of the Senate, assuming the majority leader post after Democrats won two new Senate seats in Georgia and Vice-President Kamala Harris was sworn in Wednesday. But he said "you don't need to tell us what was going on with the mob scene, we were rushing down the staircase to escape".

With 10 Republicans siding with Democrats, it was the most bipartisan impeachment vote in USA history.

Some Senate Republicans have argued that Congress should not put a former president on trial and to do so will further divide the country.

Trump was acquitted by the Senate in February after his legal team aggressively fought the House charges that he had encouraged the president of Ukraine to investigate Biden in exchange for military aid.

In Trump's first impeachment trial, the Senate began the proceedings the day after the charges were sent from the House.

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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.

Republican Senator Roy Blunt told reporters that while there were some items in the package he could back, he thought the proposal in its current form would be unlikely to pass. Durbin told reporters that it was still not determined whether the Senate will hold a "full-blown trial with evidence and witnesses" or an "expedited" procedure.

The initial impeachment resolution charged Trump with "incitement of insurrection", adding that he provoked his supporters at a January 6 rally, sparking the following deadly attack on the Capitol.

Democrats, who hold a House majority, narrowly took control of the Senate on Wednesday, but at least two-thirds of the 100-member body are required to convict Trump. Apart from the support for him being evident in the significant number of votes in the 2020 polls, a Morning Consult-Politico survey published last week found 42 percent of Republicans say they would support Trump if he ran in 2024, a decrease of 13 percentage points from November but still significant.

Trump has hired South Carolina-based lawyer Butch Bowers to represent him in his Senate impeachment trial, a source familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

While Republicans have called for a delay to allow Trump to prepare his defense, some Democrats would also favor a delay to help keep Biden's agenda and appointments on track.

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