McConnell Proposes Starting Trump Impeachment Trial in Mid-February


WASHINGTON—Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) proposed starting former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial in mid-February, saying that time frame would give Democrats prosecuting the case and Mr. Trump’s defense team time to prepare.

Mr. McConnell said the proposal would provide for a “full and fair process,” given the “serious factual, legal, and constitutional questions at stake” in the wake of the speedy House impeachment. The House voted last week to impeach Mr. Trump, alleging he incited a mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6

In another development, Mr. Trump told associates he has picked Butch Bowers, a South Carolina attorney, to represent him in the trial, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Mr. McConnell’s proposal to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) outlines a period of two weeks that would begin when the House sends over the article of impeachment it approved last week. Mr. McConnell proposed kicking off the process on Jan. 28, then giving both sides two weeks to complete pretrial briefs and responses, putting the start of the trial around Valentine’s Day, according to a GOP aide.

A spokesman for Mr. Schumer said he would review the proposal and discuss it with Mr. McConnell. An agreement between the two parties is needed to enable Mr. Trump’s legal team to access and speak on the floor. Democrats are also seeking Republican support on the daily trial schedule, after Mr. Biden said he hoped lawmakers could split days between the trial proceedings and other business, such as confirming cabinet nominees and advancing legislation.



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