Trump′s impeachment trial to begin week of February 8, says US senate leader | News | DW | 22.01.2021
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Trump's impeachment trial to begin week of February 8, says US senate leader

The US Senate majority leader has said Donald Trump's impeachment trial is set to begin in two weeks. It will be the first such trial to take place after a US president has left office.

Washington scheidender Präsident Donald Trump

Donald Trump became the first president in US history to be impeached twice.

The impeachment trial of former US President Donald Trump will begin in the week of February 8, US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced on Friday.

"The Senate will conduct a trial of the impeachment of Donald Trump. It will be a full trial. It will be a fair trial," Schumer said.

The top Democratic leader in the Senate announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans.

According to the timeline, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will send the article of impeachment to the Senate on Monday, triggering the start of the former president's trial on the charge of "incitement of insurrection" over the deadly riot at the US Capitol on January 6.

The initial proceeding will begin Tuesday, and Trump's legal team will have time to prepare the case before opening arguments begin in February. 

The timeline amounts to a two-week delay and allows the Senate to conduct normal business as the new Biden administration takes charge.

The chamber will use this time to carry out confirmation votes of President Joe Biden's Cabinet nominations and start work on a massive coronavirus relief package, Schumer said.

Trump became the first president in US history to be impeached twice , and his Senate trial will be the first to take place after a president has left office.

The former president was impeached for inciting a mob of his angry supporters who ransacked the US Capitol building in an attempt to overturn the results of the November presidential election, which Trump falsely claimed was "stolen."

'Win for due process'

Senate Republicans wanted to push back Trump's impeachment hearings to mid-February, but the request was rejected by the Democrats who now control the chamber. 

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell wanted the delay so as to give the former president time to prepare his pre-trial defense.

"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 on Thursday.

House Democrats, on the other hand, have signaled they want to move swiftly with proceedings.

The current timeline is a compromise between the two sides. 

A McConnell aide said the trial could begin as soon as February 9 — a Tuesday — and that McConnell was pleased Democrats had given Trump's defense more time.

"This is a win for due process and fairness," a McConnell spokesman said.

Watch video 06:13

Trump and the religious right

adi/aw (AP, AFP, Reuters,)