Pelosi to trigger Trump impeachment trial next week

President Donald Trump departs the White House for the last time, on January 20 in Washington, DC.
President Donald Trump departs the White House for the last time, on January 20 in Washington, DC.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is set to send the article of impeachment against Donald Trump to the Senate on Monday.

The move will launch the start of the former president's trial on a charge of incitement of insurrection over the deadly Capitol riot.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced the schedule on Friday.

"There will be a trial," Mr Schumer said.

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

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell had earlier proposed to push back the start of Mr Trump's trial to give the former president time to prepare and review his case.

But House Democrats, who voted to impeach Mr Trump last week for inciting the deadly Capitol riot on January 6, have argued a full reckoning is necessary before the country – and the Congress – can move on under new President Joe Biden.

Mr McConnell suggested a more expansive timeline that would see the House transmit the article of impeachment on January 28, launching the trial's first phase.

After that, the Senate would give the president's defence team and House prosecutors two weeks to file briefs, with arguments in the trial likely to begin in mid-February.

He said: "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."

Shortly before the insurrection on January 6, Mr Trump told thousands of his supporters at a rally near the White House to "fight like hell" against the election results that Congress was certifying.

A mob marched down to the Capitol and rushed in, interrupting the count.

Five people, including a Capitol Police officer, died in the mayhem, and the House impeached Mr Trump a week later, with 10 Republicans joining all Democrats in support.

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