US House ready to send article of impeachment to Senate

US House ready to send article of impeachment charging Donald Trump to Senate

The looming trial has already sent lawmakers burrowing into dueling positions, deepening the schisms in an already divided Senate

Former US President Donald Trump. Credit: AFP File Photo

The House is poised to deliver to the Senate on Monday its article of impeachment charging former President Donald Trump with “incitement of insurrection,” formally advancing the process even as the trial itself has been delayed.

At 7 p.m., the House impeachment managers will march the charge across the Capitol. That is the official, if ceremonial, start of the Senate trial process, during which the managers are expected to make their case that Trump should be held accountable for his role in inciting the deadly assault on the Capitol on Jan. 6. Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., the lead impeachment manager, will read the article on the Senate floor.

Senate leaders last week struck a deal to pause the trial until the week of Feb. 8 to give the prosecution and the defense time to draft and exchange legal briefs, a timetable that also allows President Joe Biden time to install members of his Cabinet. Senators will be sworn in as jurors Tuesday.

“During that period, the Senate will continue to do other business for the American people, such as Cabinet nominations and the COVID relief bill, which would provide relief for millions of Americans who are suffering during this pandemic,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, the majority leader.

The looming trial has already sent lawmakers burrowing into dueling positions, deepening the schisms in an already divided Senate. As some Republicans in the chamber, including Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the minority leader, have grown increasingly worried that failing to distance themselves from Trump could damage the party for years to come, others have made clear that they oppose even the idea of a trial and will try to dismiss the charge before it begins.

Impeachment managers have signaled that they intend to present a straightforward case focused on the storming of the Capitol, which played out in public view and left many of the senators who will serve as jurors in the trial cowering for safety. Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Pa., one of the impeachment managers, said Sunday she expected the trial to “go faster” than Trump’s first impeachment trial in 2020, which lasted 21 days.