Senate won’t reconvene early to start impeachment trial before Trump leaves office: McConnell spokesman

Wednesday, 13 January, 2021 - 22:16

With President Trump likely set on Wednesday to become the only president ever impeached twice, Democrats were pressuring Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to invoke a 2004 resolution that could bring the Senate back quickly for what would essentially be an emergency session to begin the impeachment trial as soon as possible.

But McConnell's office said Wednesday that it will not invoke the resolution, meaning that any impeachment trial almost certainly will not start until Trump has left office.

McConnell, R-Ky., issued a memo to Republican senators earlier this week saying that the Senate would not be able to reconvene for business until Jan. 19 without the consent of all 100 senators. This would mean, in effect, that the earliest an impeachment trial for Trump could begin is 1 p.m. on Jan. 20, an hour after President-elect Biden is inaugurated. It's almost certain a Trump loyalist senator would object to bringing the Senate back early.

But a senior Democratic aide said earlier this week that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., was exploring the possibility that a 2004 resolution gives the two party leaders in the Senate the authority to call the Senate back into session. This would mean that Schumer would only have to convince McConnell to bring the Senate back.