McConnell: Senate impeachment trial will begin in January

McConnell: Senate impeachment trial will begin in January
© Greg Nash
 
McConnell, speaking during a weekly press conference, said that an impeachment trial in the Senate would not begin before the upper chamber wraps up its work for the year, which it is expected to do next week.
 
"What is not possible, obviously, would be to turn to an impeachment trial or to do USMCA in the Senate before we break for Christmas," McConnell said, referring to Trump's newly renegotiated trade deal with Canada and Mexico.
 
McConnell's comments come after House Democrats formally unveiled articles of impeachment earlier Tuesday. The House Judiciary Committee is expected to start voting on the articles on Wednesday night and continue into Thursday.
 
A full vote on the House floor is expected as soon as next week. 
 
Senators have predicted for weeks that the upper chamber would bypass holding impeachment proceedings before the end of the year and would instead start the trial in January.
 
During the Clinton impeachment, the House passed articles of impeachment in mid-December but the Senate did not start its trial until the first week of January.
 
"I suspect that there will be a consensus among members on both sides to have a Christmas holiday," Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneClash looms over next coronavirus relief bill Trump second-term plans remain a mystery to GOP Republicans fear backlash over Trump's threatened veto on Confederate names MORE (R-S.D.), McConnell's No. 2, told reporters earlier on Tuesday. 
 
He added that a trial would "be a sometime January exercise." 
 
McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerA renewed emphasis on research and development funding is needed from the government Data shows seven Senate Democrats have majority non-white staffs Trump may be DACA participants' best hope, but will Democrats play ball? MORE (D-N.Y.) are expected to sit down and try to negotiate an agreement on the process of a Senate trial, including the start date. Those talks have not yet begun.
 
McConnell sidestepped saying on Tuesday when the Senate would return to Washington in January. The chamber's 2020 calendar was released last week, but the month of January was missing from the calendar — underscoring the scheduling uncertainty.
 
"We will let you have a date as soon as we have it, but you know it will be — it will be — you are wondering when you have to come back, right? It will be — it will be right around the time the bowl games end. So how about that?" he said.