McConnell Proposes Delaying Impeachment Trial Until February To Give Trump Team Time

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Henry Rodgers Senior Congressional Correspondent
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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is proposing to give former President Donald Trump until February to get ready for his impeachment trial in the Senate.

“I have sent a proposed timeline for the first phases of the upcoming impeachment trial to Leader Schumer and look forward to continuing to discuss it with him. Senate Republicans are strongly united behind the principle that the institution of the Senate, the office of the presidency, and former President Trump himself all deserve a full and fair process that respects his rights and the serious factual, legal, and constitutional questions at stake,” McConnell said in a statement.

“Given the unprecedented speed of the House’s process, our proposed timeline for the initial phases includes a modest and reasonable amount of additional time for both sides to assemble their arguments before the Senate would begin to hear them,” he continued.

McConnell told Republican senators that he would ask Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to give Trump until early-February to give him and his team time to prepare for the trial, Politico first reported.

The Republican leader said Tuesday that Trump and his allies were responsible for provoking rioters to storm the Capitol and commit acts of vandalism which postponed the electoral college certification process.

Schumer made it clear that he will move forward with the impeachment of Trump in a Tuesday speech. In a floor speech, Schumer called Trump’s presidency the most “chaotic and divisive president that can ever be remembered.”

He also mentioned three issues he hopes the Senate will tackle in the coming weeks: “a second impeachment trial of Donald Trump, the confirmation of President Biden’s cabinet and other key officials, and legislation to provide much-needed, almost desperately-needed COVID relief. ”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) looks on as U.S. President Joe Biden delivers his inaugural address on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

McConnell, who has not ruled out voting to convict Trump in a Senate vote, said Trump was directly responsible for provoking the rioters and went on to mention President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris’ inauguration. (RELATED: REPORT: McConnell Believes Trump Committed Impeachable Offenses)

“The last time the Senate convened, we had just reclaimed the Capitol from violent criminals who tried to stop Congress from doing our duty. This mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people. And they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal government which they did not like. But we pressed on,” McConnell said. (RELATED: Pelosi Says Members Of Congress Who ‘Aided And Abetted’ Capitol Rioters Will Be Prosecuted)

The House vote on Jan. 13 was 232-197 with 10 Republicans, including Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, and New York Rep. John Katko, voting to impeach Trump.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has not submitted the article of impeachment to the Senate.