Senate Impeachment Trial Gets January 21 Start Date, Projected Timeline

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The Senate impeachment trial is expected to begin on Tuesday, Jan. 21, if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sends over the articles of impeachment this week, according to two GOP senators.

CBS News reported the two anonymous senators told the outlet that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also expects the trial to last three to five weeks.

The trial will also reportedly be held six days a week, with senators only having Sundays off. A source said McConnell wants to make the trial “uncomfortable.”

“And so we’d actually be glued to our chair, starting Tuesday,” Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas told reporters Monday.

“That’s what it feels like right now and I realize things could change.”

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Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will preside over the trial, and each side will have 24 hours to make its case.

After that time is over, Republicans hope to call a vote on whether witness testimony should be provided.

The news of the reported Senate impeachment trial date comes days after President Donald Trump criticized the Senate over the weekend for planning to have a trial rather than “an outright dismissal” of the articles of impeachment.

“Many believe that by the Senate giving credence to a trial based on the no evidence, no crime, read the transcripts, ‘no pressure’ Impeachment Hoax, rather than an outright dismissal, it gives the partisan Democrat Witch Hunt credibility that it otherwise does not have. I agree!” Trump tweeted

But GOP Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri told reporters on Monday that the Senate does not have enough votes for an “outright dismissal,” The Hill reported.

Do you think there should be witness testimony in the Senate trial?

“I think our members generally are not interested in a motion to dismiss,” he said. “Certainly there aren’t 51 votes for a motion to dismiss.”

Senate Republicans would need 51 votes to dismiss the articles of impeachment, but Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Rob Portman of Ohio are among those who have already indicated they would oppose such a motion.

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Although McConnell told Republican senators last week they “have the votes” to pass a resolution for an impeachment trial without witness testimony, senior White House officials told CBS News it is likely four Republican senators will vote to call witnesses.

Along with Republican Collins and fellow moderate GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah and Cory Gardner of Colorado are two likely senators to vote with the Democrats.

A White House official also called Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky a “wild card” and Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee an “institutionalist,” meaning both senators might vote to call witnesses.

The timing and schedule of the trial will depend on the decision whether to call witnesses who defied House subpoenas, including former National Security Advisor John Bolton and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, Business Insider reported.

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