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McConnell: Senate can't take up impeachment until Jan. 19

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McConnell: Senate can't take up impeachment until Jan. 19
President Donald Trump is facing calls for his departure by impeachment, resignation or the 25th Amendment. Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 9 (UPI) -- Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said that if the House votes to impeach President Donald Trump, the earliest his chamber could take up the issue is one day before President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.

In a memo sent to his caucus Friday, McConnell said the Senate -- currently in recess -- isn't scheduled to reconvene for full business until Jan. 19.

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There are two pro forma sessions scheduled for Tuesday and Friday. The chamber would need all 100 senators to agree to take up an impeachment trial during those meetings -- an unlikely prospect.

Congressional Democrats have called for impeachment proceedings against Trump in the days since a mob attacked the U.S. Capitol during a joint session to certify Biden's election win. Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., assistance House speaker, said the House's vote on impeachment could come by the middle of next week.

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CNN reported an impeachment resolution could be introduced Monday, the next time the House meets. If the House votes to impeach Trump -- a process that likely would be much shorter than the 2019 impeachment proceedings -- the issue would then move to the Senate for a trial.

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A Senate impeachment trial could proceed beyond the end of Trump's term in office, by which time Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer would be in charge of the upper chamber after Democrats' two wins in Georgia last week.

The Senate would need a two-thirds majority vote to convict Trump. After that, the Senate could vote on whether to prevent Trump from holding office in the future with a simple majority.

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Vice President Mike Pence, R-Ind., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., preside over the Electoral College votes for certification after working through the night at the U.S. Capitol on Thursday. Photo by Pat Benic/UPI | License Photo

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