Trump’s motorcade arrived at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach at 10:47 p.m. There were numerous supporters lining the route, cheering and waving “Trump 2020” signs, along with a few protesters holding signs accusing Trump of corruption.
Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump, a senior White House adviser, was also on the Air Force One flight to Florida, as were the first lady’s parents.
Trump was scheduled to attend a Turning Point USA event in West Palm Beach on Saturday and had no events scheduled for Sunday.
Trump was impeached on Dec. 17 but the House declined to send the Senate the articles of impeachment before breaking for Christmas, ensuring a trial won’t start until at least January.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who said previously a trial wouldn’t start until 2020, has expressed confusion over the delay in transmission, while Democrats claim they’re using the delay as leverage to try to get McConnell to hold a “fair” trial.
Trump wondered whether House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) could be impeached in a tweet before heading to his resort, writing: “Nancy Pelosi is looking for a Quid Pro Quo with the Senate. Why aren’t we Impeaching her?”
“He’s mad as hell that they would do this to him and now deny him his day in court,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said during a Fox News interview on Friday.
McConnell, Trump’s most powerful GOP ally in the Senate, welcomed the president’s emerging defense team Friday for a walk-through of the Senate chamber. White House counsel Pat Cipollone and legislative affairs director Eric Ueland came to Capitol Hill to assess logistics.
The GOP holds a 53-47 majority in the Senate and no Republicans have committed to voting to convict Trump. Conviction, or removal from office, requires two-thirds of the senators present, and it’s widely expected that Trump will be acquitted.
McConnell wants the Senate to follow what happened in the trial of President Bill Clinton, where a unanimous 100-0 vote set early proceedings before the body voted again on whether to hear from witnesses or dismiss the charges.