Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Wednesday that the second impeachment trial for President Donald Trump would not begin until after President-elect Joe Biden has been sworn in next week.
“Even if the Senate process were to begin this week and move promptly, no final verdict would be reached until after President Trump had left office. This is not a decision I am making; it is a fact. The President-elect himself stated last week that his inauguration on January 20 is the ‘quickest’ path for any change in the occupant of the presidency.”
The Senate is out of session until Jan. 19, a day before Biden is scheduled to be inaugurated.
The House voted 232–197 to impeach Trump for a second time. Every Democrat voted in favor of impeachment, while 10 Republicans joined their colleagues to impeach the president.
Republicans who did not support the impeachment said that moving forward with the proceedings would further divide the nation.
McConnell, who did not indicate how he would vote, said that Congress and the executive branch spend the next seven days focused on “facilitating a safe inauguration and an orderly transfer of power to the incoming Biden Administration.”
“The president of the United States incited a violent mob against the duly elected government of the United States in a vicious, depraved and desperate attempt to remain in power,” Schumer said.
A number of media outlets, lawmakers, former officials, and other critics have blamed Trump for the U.S. Capitol breach last week. A group of rioters and some protesters waving American and Trump flags illegally stormed the Capitol building. The mayhem on the grounds left at least five people dead, including a police officer, and dozens of police officers injured.
As thousands of protesters moved their demonstration to the U.S. Capitol, small pockets of violence were reported during clashes with police and media. The vast majority of protesters remained peaceful. At around 2 p.m., a subgroup of protesters began rioting, smashing windows in an attempt to enter the Capitol building as other protesters tried to stop them. Shortly after, Trump started posting on Twitter, urging his supporters to stay peaceful. He continued his urge for peace and respect for law enforcement throughout the afternoon and asked his supporters to go home in a video.
Rioters ended up breaching the Capitol building, and other protesters followed. Trump has since condemned the “heinous attack” by intruders on the Capitol, saying “the demonstrators who infiltrated the Capitol have defiled the seat of American democracy.”