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 TrumpRouhani says Iran will never seek nuclear weapons Trump downplays seriousness of injuries in Iran attack after US soldiers treated for concussions Trump says Bloomberg is 'wasting his money' on 2020 campaign 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 Ann WarrenSanders joins Biden atop 2020 Democratic field: poll The Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions Hillary Clinton tears open wound with her attack on Sanders MORE (D-Mass.) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders joins Biden atop 2020 Democratic field: poll The Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions Trump on Clinton's Sanders comments: 'She's the one that people don't like' 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.