Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said Tuesday that the Senate impeachment impeachment trial was on track to start in earnest early next week, after Monday’s Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
McConnell said that he was hopeful the Senate could complete some impeachment trial “housekeeping measures” by the end of this week, “which would set us up to begin the actual trial next Tuesday.”
McConnell later added that the main resolution laying out the procedures for the first few phases of the trial would not be voted on until Tuesday. He did not say when the text of the resolution itself would be unveiled.
After McConnell’s announcement, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) — a member of the GOP leadership team and chair of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration — went into more detail about the expected timeline, which will kick into gear once the House votes Wednesday on a resolution approving the impeachment managers that Speaker Nancy Pelosi selects.
After that vote, Blunt said, the House will inform the secretary of the Senate that it’s ready to send its impeachment managers over. The Senate will then consider a resolution dealing with floor access and mechanical details, such as the placement of the furniture, for the Senate trial. All of that is likely to happen on Wednesday, Blunt said.
On Thursday, according to this expected timeline, the Senate would receive the House managers, who will announce the articles of impeachment from the Senate floor. After that, the president pro tempore of the Senate will swear in Chief Justice John Roberts, and then Roberts will swear in the senators.
“And we believe that’s sort of the end of this week,” Blunt said.
In his remarks, McConnell confirmed the trial procedures resolution the Senate is slated to vote on next week had the support of all 53 Republicans.
He also suggested that the resolution will not include a provision setting up a motion to dismiss early in the trial, as was included in the Clinton impeachment rules package. The White House was pushing for such a measure, but Republicans lack the votes to dismiss the case before the evidence from both sides is heard.
“There is little or no sentiment in the Republican conference for a motion to dismiss,” McConnell said.
Other Republicans suggested this week that individual senators or the President’s legal team could still offer on their own a motion to dismiss the case.
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