Pelosi’s decision on when to formally refer the impeachment decision to the Senate comes as Democrats on both sides of the Capitol and the incoming administration grapple with how to balance the impeachment trial with the agenda of President-elect Joe Biden. It is unclear the day Pelosi will send the article, and she did not provide any hints when asked at her press conference on Friday, indicating the situation is fluid.
According to a Pelosi spokesperson, no decision has been made on the timing.
“Regarding the timing, as I mentioned, a week ago, on the sixth of January, there was an active insurgency in the American capital with the impetus of the president of the United States,” Pelosi said Friday. “One week later, from Wednesday to Wednesday, this president was removed in a bipartisan fashion by the House of Representatives. So the urgent matter that they are now working to take to trial, and you will be the first to know when it is announced that we are going there.”
The timing of the House sending the article is noteworthy because the Constitution requires the Senate to start the trial at 1 PM ET the next day.
The Senate returns to session on January 19, the day before Biden is inaugurated, which means the impeachment trial can begin one hour after Biden opens January 20, although aides expect the earliest date to begin on January 21.
The Biden team and the Senate Democrats, who will take control of the room when Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are sworn in, hope they can separate Senate Day, so the Senate works to confirm the candidates and consider legislation in the morning and the trial takes place in the afternoon. But this plan requires the approval of every senator.
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