Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N-Y) has announced that former U.S. President, Donald Trump’s historic second impeachment trial will begin Feb. 8 on charges that he incited the “awful” attack on the U.S. Capitol that left a police officer and four others dead earlier this month.
Schumer who replaced Mitch McConnell as Senate leader this week after the Democratic party gained majority seats following the Georgia Senate runoffs early this month said the House will formally transmit the article of impeachment against Trump next week Monday.
Senators will then be sworn in for the trial on Tuesday before the chamber puts the high-stakes matter on hold until the week of Feb. 8, Schumer said.
In the main time, the Senate will work to confirm President Biden’s various cabinet nominees and pass the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package proposed by the new commander-in-chief, Schumer added.
“The Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol incited by Donald J. Trump was a day none of us will ever forget,” Schumer said on the Senate floor.
“We all want to put this awful chapter in our nation’s history behind us, but healing and unity will only come if there is truth and accountability, and that is what this trial will provide.”
Schumer laid out the schedule after negotiations with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
McConnell initially proposed a Feb. 22 start date for Trump’s trial to allow his legal team prepare well for the trial.
Biden, eager for the Senate to confirm his cabinet picks, suggested before Schumer’s announcement that he favored McConnell’s approach.
“The more time we have to get up and running to meet these crises, the better,” Biden told reporters at the White House.
Trump, hasn’t been seen in public since he left the White House before Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday.
The Senate can vote to bar him from ever holding or running for public office again if it first convicts him of the impeachment article charging him with “incitement of insurrection.”
Conviction requires a two-thirds majority vote, meaning at least 17 Republican senators need to join the 50 Democrats to vote before Trump can be convicted.
Trump is the only president in American history to be impeached twice. Trump is also the only president to face an impeachment trial after he’s out of office.
The Senate has never voted to convict a president before, so Trump could make history again at his forthcoming trial.