McConnell proposing to Schumer that impeachment trial start in February

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is proposing to Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to delay the start of the impeachment trial of former President Trump until February, multiple sources familiar with the plan tell CBS News. 

This would give impeachment managers and Mr. Trump’s defense at least a week to prepare. McConnell floated the proposal to GOP senators on a caucus conference call Thursday. McConnell, now in the minority, does not have final say on when a trial would be. Schumer would have to agree to the proposal. 

McConnell told reporters late Thursday that he has not yet heard back from Schumer on his proposal, adding, “we’re going to continue to talk about it.” 

McConnell had already said he would not take up a trial immediately after the House impeached Mr. Trump. The House has yet to send the single article of impeachment for incitement of insurrection to the Senate. 

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham praised McConnell’s proposal to delay the trial into February and said he met with McConnell on Thursday. 

“We looked at historically pre-trial periods. The difference is there was really no input in the House, it was a snap impeachment. But when you look at the time periods involved, it’s very similar to what we’ve done in the past,” Graham told reporters. 

Graham confirmed that attorney Butch Bowers is joining the Trump legal team as “the anchor tenant.” Graham praised Butcher as a “solid guy.” Graham also said he spoke with Mr. Trump earlier Thursday. 

“The president looks forward to getting this behind him,” Graham said. “Believes it’s unconstitutional and damages his presidency, but you know, he’s gonna’ have his day in court and that’s the way the system works.”

The South Carolina senator said he had no insight into whether Mr. Trump would attend the trial, but recommended that he shouldn’t. 

The House impeached Mr. Trump last week, on January 13, with 10 Republicans joining Democrats. 

Senators are currently scheduled to be working from their states during the week of February 15 for Presidents’ Day, potentially complicating the timeline. 

At the moment, the Senate is also working to confirm President Joe Biden’s nominees. 

McConnell has not said publicly whether he supports or opposes impeachment, although he has said that the mob that attacked the Capitol was “provoked by the president.” 



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