Jan 13, 2021 - Politics & Policy

McConnell won't reconvene Senate early for impeachment trial

McConnell
McConnell. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell will not consent to reconvening the Senate on Friday under emergency authorities, delaying the start of President Trump's likely impeachment trial until Jan. 19 at the earliest, McConnell's team confirmed to Axios.

Why it matters: If the House votes to impeach Trump for incitement of the Capitol riot on Wednesday, as is expected, the trial will likely not take place until after President-elect Joe Biden takes office on Jan. 20.

Driving the news: McConnell’s team informed Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer’s office on Wednesday that McConnell would not consent to reconvening the Senate immediately under the 2004 emergency authorities.

  • McConnell sent a note to Republican colleagues later Wednesday to say he has not made up his mind on impeachment: "While the press has been full of speculation, I have not made a final decision on how I will vote and I intend to listen to the legal arguments when they are presented to the Senate.”

What we're hearing: "Even if we started a trial yesterday, there’s not enough time to remove him from office," a McConnell official tells Axios.

The big picture: Republican sources tell Axios' Mike Allen that there's a better than 50-50 chance that McConnell would vote to convict Trump in an impeachment trial. Top Republicans want him gone, but are divided on the best way to do it.

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