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Should Democrats delay Trump's impeachment trial until after Biden's first 100 days?
Do you support delaying Trump's impeachment trial until after Biden’s first 100 days?
By Eric Revell, Countable News
What’s the story?
- The House of Representatives on Wednesday voted 232-197 to approve one article of impeachment against President Donald Trump for “inciting an insurrection” at the Capitol during the certification of the Electoral College results. It marks the first time in American history has been impeached twice, as the House impeached Trump in December 2019 before he was eventually acquitted by the Senate early last year.
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has appointed the impeachment managers who will serve as prosecutors but hasn’t yet indicated whether she will immediately send the article of impeachment to the Senate and declined to answer questions at an enrollment ceremony. After the first impeachment of President Trump, Pelosi held back the articles of impeachment for nearly a month in an unsuccessful effort to force the Senate to call witnesses during the trial.
- After the Senate formally receives an article of impeachment, it is required to begin an impeachment trial at 1pm on the next day of regular session after the article is received and exhibited for senators. Based on the Senate’s schedule for the next week, the earliest an impeachment trial could begin is either an hour after the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on January 20th or the next day.
- Over the weekend, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) said that Democrats should consider waiting to send the impeachment article to the Senate to allow the trial to begin until after Biden’s first 100 days in office have concluded. That would make it easier for the upper chamber to consider bills and Biden's Cabinet picks because the Senate’s impeachment rules make it difficult for the chamber to consider legislative or executive business.
- The Senate rules require the chamber to convene for the impeachment trial every day (except for Sundays) at noon, although that schedule can be modified by a unanimous consent agreement. During the trial, the Senate is convened as a “Court of Impeachment” rather than a normal legislative or executive session and cannot consider bills or nominations, respectively, under the parliamentary rules.
- The Senate can arrange to hold a legislative or executive session on days where it also meets for the trial, but doing so would require all senators to agree to a unanimous consent agreement.
- During both the Clinton impeachment trialand Trump’s first impeachment trial, the Senate reached a number of unanimous consent agreements that allowed for the introduction of bills in a legislative session and receive messages or reports about executive nominations. However, on neither occasion was the Senate able to agree to hold floor votes on bills or nominations.
Who are the Democrats’ impeachment managers?
- Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) will serve as the lead impeachment manager, having previously served on the Judiciary Committee during the first impeachment of Trump. Raskin helped draft the latest article of impeachment against President Trump for “inciting an insurrection.” In 2017, Raskin joined several House Democrats in an unsuccessful effort to challenge Florida’s election results when President Trump’s Electoral College victory was certified.
- Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) chairs the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, and worked as a civil rights attorney prior to serving in Congress.
- Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) was the lead sponsor of this article of impeachment against Trump for “inciting an insurrection” and served on the Judiciary Committee during the first Trump impeachment.
- Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) served on the Intelligence Committee during the first Trump impeachment.
- Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) featured prominently during Trump’s first impeachment, as he was one of only two House lawmakers who were members of both the Judiciary Committee and the Intelligence Committee. He recently made headlines following the revelation of his past relationship with a suspected Chinese spy, which prompted calls for his removal from the Intelligence Committee.
- Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) joined Cicilline and Raskin in drafting this article of impeachment against Trump for “inciting an insurrection” and served on the Judiciary Committee during the first Trump impeachment.
- Del. Stacey Plaskett (D-VI) is the non-voting delegate from the U.S. Virgin Islands. Prior to her election to Congress, she worked as an attorney in the Bronx District Attorney’s Office.
- Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CO) served on the Judiciary Committee during the first Trump impeachment and worked as an attorney prior to his election to Congress.
- Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-PA) served on the Judiciary Committee during the first Trump impeachment and worked as an attorney prior to her election to Congress.
(Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr / Creative Commons)
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