© Greg Nash
Two members of Senate Republican leadership say they think an initial phase of the impeachment trial — where both sides present their cases — could last approximately two weeks.
Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntRoy Blunt has helped forge and fortify the shared bonds between Australia and America The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Biden jumps into frenzied Dem spending talks Congress facing shutdown, debt crisis with no plan B MORE (R-Mo.), the No. 4 Senate Republican, told reporters that it "sounded about right" to expect that allowing both the House managers and Trump's lawyers to present their arguments could take roughly a "working week" per side.
"For them to present them their prima facie case, I would assume that's the right amount of time," he said when asked if he was saying he thought that portion of the trial would take roughly two weeks.
When asked about the two-week time frame, Senate Republican Conference Chairman John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoOvernight Energy & Environment — League of Conservation Voters — Climate summit chief says US needs to 'show progress' on environment Manchin, Barrasso announce bill to revegetate forests after devastating fires Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the League of Conservation Voters — EPA finalizing rule cutting HFCs MORE (R-Wyo.) said, "Yeah, I think that's reasonable."
A two-week time frame would line up with an offer from Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerObama says US 'desperately needs' Biden legislation ahead of key votes Congress shows signs of movement on stalled Biden agenda Schumer gets shoutout, standing ovation from crowd at Tony Awards MORE (D-N.Y.) on the first phase of the Senate trial.
Schumer, in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFord to bolster electric vehicle production in multi-billion dollar push On The Money — GOP blocks spending bill to kick off chaotic week in congress Overnight Health Care — Presented by Alrtia — Booster shots get bipartisan rollout MORE (R-Ky.), proposed that the president's team and the House impeachment managers get 24 hours each for opening statements and rebuttals.
Senators, under Schumer's proposal, would then get 16 hours to ask questions.
The time frame for the looming Senate trial, which will start in January, is expected to be a part of the negotiations between Schumer and McConnell as they try to come up with a bipartisan deal on the process. McConnell told GOP senators during a closed-door caucus lunch that he'll start talking with Schumer this week.
It's what happens after both sides present their cases, namely if they call witnesses, that is still a looming question for senators as they gear up for a trial and would have an impact on the total length of the trial. Former President Clinton's impeachment trial ran for approximately five weeks.
Schumer, in his letter to McConnell, said he wants one resolution that would be passed at the outset of the trial that would govern both the proceeding rules and specific witnesses.
But Republicans are indicating they will punt a decision on whether to call witnesses until after the trial has started.
McConnell, during an interview with Fox News Radio, also said that he did not want witnesses to be called and warned that calling them would only drag out the proceeding. Fifty-one senators will effectively be able to decide on the floor whether to hear from witnesses.