Schumer says Trump impeachment trial to start week of February 8

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By WCBS Newsradio 880

WASHINGTON (WCBS 880) — Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday will deliver the article of impeachment charging former President Donald Trump with incitement of insurrection for the deadly Capitol riot.

He announced later Friday that opening arguments in the Senate impeachment trial will begin the week of Feb. 8.

Schumer wants the Senate to first focus on confirming President Joe Biden's cabinet nominees

"I've been speaking to the Republican leader about the timing and duration of the trial, but make no mistake, a trial will be held in the United States Senate and there will be a vote whether to convict the president," Schumer said as he opened the Senate Friday morning.

Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday sought to postpone the impeachment trial until February to give Trump time to prepare and review his case.

“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.

Schumer said some of his Republican colleagues have argued that the trial would be unconstitutional because Trump is no longer in office, but the senate leader said that argument has been repudiated and debunked by "hundreds of constitutional scholars."

"It makes no sense whatsoever that a president or any official could commit a heinous crime against our country and then be permitted to resign so as to avoid accountability and a vote to disbar them from future office," Schumer said. "It makes no sense."

Schumer promised the Senate will conduct a "full" and "fair" trial.

"Make no mistake, there will be a trial and when that trial ends senators will have to decide if they believe Donald John Trump incited the insurrection against the United States," Schumer said.

Pelosi said the trial has to happen even though Trump has left office so that there is accountability.

Trump is the first U.S. president to be twice impeached and the first to face a trial after leaving office.

Trump's first trial ended in acquittals on two charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

The House voted to impeach him for a second time on Jan. 13.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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