June 14, 2021

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McConnell seeks two-week delay for impeachment trial so Trump can form legal team – New York Post

2 min read

WASHINGTON — Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Thursday proposed delaying Donald Trump’s impeachment trial until mid-February, giving the former president’s legal team time to mount a defense.

In a statement, McConnell said he had offered a proposed timeline to new Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) which would see the House present the impeachment articles to the Senate on Jan. 28 and allow Trump’s legal team 14 days to prepare their pre-trial brief.

“Senate Republicans are strongly united behind the principle that the institution of the Senate, the office of the presidency, and former President Trump himself all deserve a full and fair process that respects his rights and the serious factual, legal, and constitutional questions at stake,” McConnell said.

“Given the unprecedented speed of the House’s process, our proposed timeline for the initial phases includes a modest and reasonable amount of additional time for both sides to assemble their arguments before the Senate would begin to hear them,” he added. 

The outgoing commander in chief became the only president to be impeached twice when the Democrat-controlled House passed an article of impeachment alleging he incited the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Despite moving to impeach Trump in the space of one week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has not transferred the single article to the Senate, meaning the trial can’t start, and has repeatedly refused to provide a timeframe.

Many Democrats have wanted to delay the trial to avoid distracting from Biden’s early legislative agenda, which includes an enormous $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue package.

On Thursday, McConnell said that Senate Republicans would not allow a “half-baked” trial process.

“At this time of strong political passions, Senate Republicans believe it is absolutely imperative that we do not allow a half-baked process to short-circuit the due process that former President Trump deserves or damage the Senate or the presidency,” he wrote.

Biden also needs the Senate to confirm his cabinet, with only one appointee, DNI director Avril Haines, passing the confirmation process thus far.

Close Biden ally Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) said Thursday on CNN that Democrats would be happy to delay Trump’s impeachment trial if it meant the confirmation of Biden’s secretaries.

“I think Democrats will be open to considering a delay that allows former President Trump time to assemble his legal team and his defense for the impeachment trial if we are making progress on confirming the very talented, seasoned and diverse team that President Joe Biden has nominated to serve in his cabinet,” Coons told Wolf Blitzer, admitting it would be a “quid pro quo.”.

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