DNC chair says debate could be rescheduled to avoid conflict with impeachment trial

DNC chair says debate could be rescheduled to avoid conflict with impeachment trial
© Greg Nash

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom PerezThomas Edward PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s 'wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE said Tuesday that his party could reschedule the first presidential primary debate of 2020 if the planned date conflicts with the Senate impeachment trial of President TrumpDonald John TrumpProtesters tear down statue of Christopher Columbus in Baltimore 'Independence Day' star Bill Pullman urges Americans to wear a 'freedom mask' in July 4 PSA Protesters burn American flag outside White House after Trump's July Fourth address MORE.

Perez told MSNBC that the flexibility is necessary given the number of Democratic senators running for the party's 2020 nomination.

"Well, Democrats and our senators can walk and chew gum," Perez said. "If there's a trial on the 14th, then we'll move the debate. If there's not, then we're going to have the debate."

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"At the moment, all systems are go," he added. "So we're going to move forward."

The debate is scheduled for Jan. 14 in Des Moines, Iowa.

Just a handful of candidates have qualified for the debate stage ahead of the state's first-in-the-nation caucus on Feb. 3. Among them are two senators who could be required to attend the Senate impeachment trial: Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenThe Hill's Campaign Report: Biden chips away at Trump's fundraising advantage Warnock raises almost M in Georgia Senate race in second quarter The Hill's Morning Report - Trump lays low as approval hits 18-month low MORE (D-Mass.) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Memo: Unhappy voters could deliver political shocks beyond Trump Democratic senator will introduce bill mandating social distancing on flights after flying on packed plane Neil Young opposes use of his music at Trump Mount Rushmore event: 'I stand in solidarity with the Lakota Sioux' MORE (I-Vt.).

Sanders and Warren are top-tier candidates in the narrowing field of White House hopefuls, with Sanders at or near the top of most Iowa polling.
 
Perez predicted on MSNBC that Democrats would see record turnout at the Iowa caucuses and during the general election in November.
 
"The energy is off the charts. We'll have record turnout in Iowa and throughout the Democratic caucuses and primaries. Folks are energized. You saw the energy over the last three years," Perez said.
 
Updated at 3:53 p.m.