Impeachment Day: Mitch McConnell makes sure Trump won’t be removed from office before Biden's inauguration
Mitch McConnell will not bring back the Senate early for trial. McConnell's spokesperson Doug Andres confirmed this on Twitter saying that their office called Chuck Schumer's team to inform them
The House voted today, January 13 to impeach President Trump a second time. Democrats are charging him with "incitement of insurrection" for his role in the January 6 attack on the Capitol.
However, Trump will stay in office and most likely be able to finish out his term. This is because it takes a Senate conviction to remove him even after he’s been impeached. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who though in favor of impeaching the president, will not bring back the Senate early for trial.
McConnell's spokesperson Doug Andres confirmed this on Twitter saying that McConnell’s office had called Sen. Chuck Schumer's team to inform them that McConnell would not consent to reconvening immediately under the 2004 emergency authorities.
So the Senate will not reconvene on Friday, January 15. Therefore the Senate trial will only occur after the Biden-Harris administration begins its term. Earlier, McConnell had also sent a memo to GOP senators explaining how an impeachment trial would go down, saying it likely wouldn't happen until after Trump leaves office.
NEWS —> McConnell sends memo to GOP senators outlining how an impeachment trial would work if the House goes thru. In essence, McConnell explains how an impeachment trial would consume the first days of Biden’s presidency. Memo exclusively obtained by WaPo https://t.co/q2f2Quum1Z pic.twitter.com/SAkVVsqPvb— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) January 9, 2021
After certifying the election results, the Senate is in recess until January 19. Therefore, it cannot begin the impeachment trial proceedings before then without the unlikely consent of all 100 senators, McConnell had said in his memo.
The Senate Impeachment Rules require members of the House to exhibit the articles of impeachment one day after the Senate says it is prepared to receive them. This means the earliest date that Senate trial proceedings are possible is on January 20 or Inauguration Day. Thus, the Senate trial would ultimately begin either one hour or 25 hours after the conclusion of Trump's term. This means that Trump will be president for seven more days till January 20, no matter how the House votes.
According to reports, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is "urging" Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to send over the article of impeachment to the Senate "as soon as possible". He said Pelosi was "talking to Mr. Schumer" to determine when to send it over.
McConnell has also said that he has "not made a final decision" on how he will vote on impeachment. McConnell had sent a note to his Republican colleagues on January 13 afternoon on impeachment, writing "while the press has been full of speculation, I have not made a final decision on how I will vote and I intend to listen to the legal arguments when they are presented to the Senate.”
Earlier, former acting secretary of Homeland Security, Chad Wolf, had told the press that President Trump bears some responsibility for the events at the US Capitol on January 6. "He's the President. What he says matters," Wolf told CNN. "People listen to him — particularly supporters of his, I would say, really listen to him — so there is responsibility there," he said in an interview. But ultimately, it is Congress who will determine if Trump's inciting speech is an impeachable offense.
The final tally saw ten House Republicans vote in support of impeachment, joining 222 House Democrats, bringing the vote tally to 232 against 197 votes to dismiss the "incitement of insurrection" charges.