DNC: Next debate will be rescheduled if it clashes with impeachment trial

Jan. 7 (UPI) -- Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez said Tuesday that the party would reschedule next week's Iowa primary debate if it clashes with the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

"Obviously, if there's a trial on the 14th then we'll move the debate," Perez told MSNBC. "If there's not, we're going to have the debate."


As it stands now, the seventh Democratic debate scheduled for Tuesday at Des Moines' Drake University is "all systems go," he said.

Only five candidates have so far qualified for the debate with the deadline looming Friday to raise money from at least 225,000 unique donors and polling at a minimum of 5 percent in at least four DNC-approved polls or 7 percent in two early state polls.

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Of the five candidates, Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar and Bernie Sanders would participate as jurors in Trump's impeachment trial, which could stall their campaigns.

Perez said the primaries and the impeachment trial shouldn't pose them a problem as "our candidates are very agile, just as the American people are agile."


"Families across this country walk and chew gum every day," he said. "They take care of their kids. They feed the family. They pay the bills and they want to make sure their Congress is doing the same thing. And our candidates will do that same thing."

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The other two candidates to have qualified for next week's debate are former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Perez said all the candidates have "really robust" campaign infrastructure to withstand the stresses of both responsibilities and the energy around the election "is off the charts," predicting record turnouts in Iowa and throughout the Democratic caucuses.

"Folks are energized," he said.

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The House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump on two charges of abuse of powers of the presidency and obstruction of Congress in mid-December in connection to the president's dealings with his Ukrainian counterpart last summer when he pressed for investigations of Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, in exchange for releasing Congress-approved aid.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has yet to pass those articles of impeachment on to the Senate for a trial, a decision that Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky criticized as "contemptuous of the American people."


McConnell said Tuesday he has the votes on a trial framework to proceed while Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has called for witnesses to be included.

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