Speed Reads

impeachment round 2

McConnell says there's not enough time to hold 'fair and serious' impeachment trial before Biden takes office

On Wednesday, the House voted to impeach outgoing President Trump a second time after his supporters attacked the Capitol building last week. Trump will now face a second impeachment trial before the Senate — but that won't happen until the body reconvenes just a day before President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Wednesday.

"Given the rules, procedures, and Senate precedents that govern presidential impeachment trials, there is simply no chance that a fair or serious trial could conclude" before Biden is sworn in, McConnell said in a statement. "Even if the Senate process were to begin this week and move promptly, no decision would be reached until after President Trump had left office. That is not a decision I am making. That is a fact," McConnell continued, citing how previous Senate impeachment trials lasted weeks. Therefore, McConnell said, he would like Congress and the executive branch to remain "completely focused on facilitating a safe and orderly transfer of power."

McConnell indicated earlier Wednesday that he wouldn't reconvene the Senate before Jan. 19 to proceed with Trump's impeachment. He also told his GOP colleagues he was still undecided on his own vote on whether to convict the president.