Clyburn suggests House may wait to send Trump impeachment article to Senate until after Biden settles into office

Tim O'Donnell

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) told CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday that even if, as he expects, Congress introduces and votes on an article of impeachment against President Trump this week, they may not send it to the Senate right away.

For starters, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has indicated that, because Congress is on recess, the upper chamber wouldn't be able to hold a trial until the afternoon of Jan. 20, which theoretically would be after President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in as Trump's successor. Clyburn's concern with that timeframe isn't related to Trump being out of office, though. Instead he's concerned it would distract Congress from important tasks during the early stages of Biden's presidency, which is why he thinks the House may consider sending the article to the Senate after the first 100 days of the new administration are up.

However, there's no historical precedent for impeaching an ex-president, so while there are legal scholars who think Trump could be subject to impeachment post-presidency, the question could lead to a lengthy court battle, pushing the congressional process even further down the road.

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