McConnell reportedly wants to ask Schumer to delay the start of Trump's impeachment trial until February

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Sonam Sheth
·3 min read
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Pelosi McConnell Schumer
From left to right: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer Brendan Smialowski/Pool via AP
  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell wants to delay Trump's impeachment trial until February, CBS News reported.

  • Trump was impeached for incitement of insurrection, but Pelosi hasn't sent the article of impeachment to the Senate yet.

  • McConnell is one of several Republicans who may vote to convict Trump and bar him from public office.

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell plans to ask Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to delay the start of former President Donald Trump's impeachment trial until February, CBS News reported, citing multiple sources familiar with the proposal.

McConnell first floated the idea during a conference call with the Senate Republican caucus, the report said. It's not clear when in February the Kentucky Republican would request the trial begin.

The Democratic-controlled Senate faces the unique task of mapping out an impeachment trial for the former president while moving to confirm President Joe Biden's Cabinet picks and enacting his legislative agenda with respect to the COVID-19 crisis and the US's economic recovery.

The House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump last week, charging him with incitement of insurrection related to the deadly Capitol riot on January 6. At a rally before the siege, Trump urged his supporters to march to the Capitol and stop Congress from finalizing Biden's victory in the 2020 election. The failed insurrection resulted in five deaths, including a Capitol Police officer who died after Trump supporters beat him with a fire extinguisher.

Read more: Joe Biden is hiring about 4,000 political staffers to work in his administration. Here's how 3 experts say you can boost your chances of getting one of those jobs.

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

When asked Thursday if she could provide clarity on when the article would be forwarded to the upper chamber, Pelosi said she would talk to House impeachment managers about it "in the next few days" but declined to provide further details.

If Schumer does agree to push the start of Trump's impeachment trial until next month, it would give the impeachment managers and lawyers representing the former president more time to prepare. Trump, for his part, has had some trouble finding legal representation in the wake of the riot he incited.

Earlier Thursday, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said a defense attorney from his state, Butch Bowers, would represent Trump in his upcoming impeachment trial.

As the Senate continues weighing the timeline of the trial, Trump has been largely silent as he grapples with being permanently banned from Twitter.

The former president also faces some political peril as multiple members of his own party signal that they may vote to convict him following an impeachment trial.

At least half a dozen Republican senators, including McConnell, have hinted at their stances on the matter and laid the blame for the attempted coup directly at Trump's feet.

As the most powerful Republican in the country, if McConnell voted to convict Trump, it would be a seismic development that could open the doors for other GOP senators to break ranks and also convict the former president.

Earlier this week, McConnell said the mob at the Capitol was "provoked by the president." The Washington Post reported that he never wants to speak to Trump again, and The New York Times reported that McConnell believes Trump committed impeachable offenses.

Republican Sens. Pat Toomey, Lisa Murkowski, Ben Sasse, and Mitt Romney have also conveyed their anger and disappointment in Trump, and some had called on him to resign while others acknowledged he committed impeachable offenses. Maine Sen. Susan Collins also said she was "appalled" by Trump's actions but has been silent on her position on impeachment.

Read the original article on Business Insider