Jan 31, 2020 - Politics & Policy

McConnell proposal would push final impeachment vote to Wednesday

McConnell arrives at the Capitol on Friday. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been working on a proposal that would push the final impeachment vote to Wednesday, according to GOP aides familiar with the plan.

Why it matters: The plan isn't final, but it raises the prospect that the Senate's final verdict might not come until after the Iowa caucuses on Monday and President Trump's State of the Union address on Tuesday — unless he delays it.

What we're hearing: The current proposal is that following today's witness vote, which is expected to fail, McConnell would either amend the organizing resolution, introduce a new resolution, or offer a motion to move to closing arguments. In any case, Democrats could drag this process out into the early hours tomorrow morning by offering amendments to the process.

  • Once the amendment process concludes, the Senate would adjourn until Monday — skipping a Saturday session.
  • On Monday, the House managers and Trump's legal team would deliver closing arguments. It's still unclear how long both sides would be given, but it's expected to take up to one day.
  • On Tuesday, senators would give their floor speeches on how they came to their decision on whether or not to acquit Trump.
  • On Wednesday, around lunch time, the Senate would deliver a final verdict — which is expected to acquit Trump on the articles on impeachment.

Worth noting: The proposal is not final, and is still subject to change. GOP leaders are expected to lay out the framework for the remainder of the trial after this afternoon's vote on whether to call witnesses.

Go deeper

Senate approves trial resolution, teeing up final impeachment vote

The Senate approved a new organizing resolution along party lines Friday night that sets up a final vote on the articles of impeachment against President Trump next Wednesday afternoon.

What's next: The Senate is now adjourned until 11 a.m. on Monday, at which point House managers and Trump's counsel will be given two hours each for closing arguments.

Trump headed for fast acquittal

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) walks through the Capitol. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump is poised to win his long-expected acquittal in the Senate impeachment trial as soon as tonight, after Sen. Lamar Alexander's dramatic 11th-hour announcement that he'll vote against calling new witnesses.

The state of play: The big question is no longer whether the Senate will sink this afternoon's witness vote, but rather how long it will take to deliver a final verdict on Trump after the vote fails.

Trump impeachment trial schedule: What’s coming this week

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

What to expect:

  • Trump's briefs are due 12 p.m. Monday.
  • House managers' reply is due 12 p.m. Tuesday.
  • The Senate reconvenes at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday. Shortly after that, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is expected to deliver brief remarks on impeachment.
  • The Senate impeachment trial reconvenes at 1 p.m. Tuesday.
Go deeperArrowJan 19, 2020