Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) on Tuesday said that he expects President Donald Trump’s Senate impeachment trial will be finished before the president gives his State of the Union address in early February.
Blunt made the remarks while speaking on Missouri talk radio station KSSZ about the ongoing impeachment proceedings against the president. During his appearance, Blunt speculated about when the trial might take place, although Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has yet to release a timeline. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has also indicated she will hold off from transmitting the two articles of impeachment—obstruction of Congress and abuse of power—to the Senate until Republicans agree to a fair trial.
“Well you know, at one time both the House and the Senate were of the view that this is constitutionally important, it’s something that needs to happen quickly,” said Blunt in response to a question about a “rough timeline” for a Senate trial. “I think it will still happen quickly. Just reading yesterday… that the president’s been invited by the Speaker to come and give the State of the Union speech on February 4th, my guess is we’ll be done with this by the time the president comes.”
One of the hosts then decried the impeachment process, saying “this whole thing with the impeachment and attacking the president” has him “pulling out what little hair” he has left. He then asked Blunt if he also got “angry” over Trump’s impeachment.
“I really don’t spend a lot of time focusing on things I can’t do anything about and this impeachment process in the House has been one of those things. I think it’s been very predictable since day one,” said Blunt. “So, I truthfully have not spent a lot of time angry about it. I’m sure the president’s been angry about it. I’ve been in a couple of meetings with him where he is clearly angry and frustrated and thinks it’s unfair.”
In October, Blunt cosponsored legislation condemning the “unfair, unprecedented” House impeachment process. The host also asked about Trump’s anger, but Blunt declined to provide additional details about the meetings, instead pointing to the president’s frequent activity on Twitter.
“He is just frustrated like maybe some of the frustration you’ve had. He feels this is an unfair process,” said Blunt. “I don’t follow the president’s tweets every day, but I hear about them on the news every day. And I think all you’ve got to do is look at those daily tweets to sense his view that he is not being treated the way other presidents have been treated.”
Blunt went on to praise Trump’s relationship with the media. “Frankly guys, he’s got a lot of patience with the media,” Blunt said. “There is no president in the history of the country that has been more accessible to the media than President Trump.”
A number of journalists disagree with Blunt’s claim, with some insisting that the administration has notably curtailed press access. Trump has also frequently targeted the press and called the media “the enemy of the people.”
Newsweek reached out to Blunt’s office for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.