House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D., Ga.) indicated that the House may not send articles of impeachment against President Trump to the Senate during the first 100 days of Joe Biden’s presidency, in an interview on CNN.
Congressional Democrats have called for removing Trump from office after the president incited a mob of supporters to head to Capitol Hill on Wednesday, while Congress was in the midst of certifying the Electoral College results. The mob breached the Capitol and forced lawmakers to evacuate, and dozens of police officers were injured in the riots. One officer was killed, and one rioter was shot and killed by police.
House Democrats are currently circulating one article of impeachment against the president for “incitement to insurrection,” and could vote on the article before Trump leaves office. However, Clyburn indicated that the House may wait to send the article to the Senate for a trial and vote.
“We’ll take the vote that we should take in the House, and [House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.)] will make the determination as to when is the best time to get that vote and get the managers appointed and move that legislation over to the Senate,” Clyburn told CNN’s Jake Tapper on State of the Union.
Clyburn added, “It just so happens that if it didn’t go over there for 100 days, it could — let’s give President-elect Biden the 100 days he needs to get his agenda off and running, and maybe we’ll send the articles sometime after that.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) outlined a potential schedule for Senate impeachment proceedings in a memo to colleagues, obtained by the Washington Post. According to the memo, starting a Senate impeachment trial before Trump leaves office on January 20 is almost impossible.
If two-thirds of the Senate votes to convict Trump after leaving office, Trump would be prevented from running for the presidency again in 2024. With both parties tied 50-50 in the Senate after Biden’s inauguration, Democrats would need to enlist 17 Republican senators to vote to convict Trump.
Senator Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) called for Trump to resign on Sunday, and Senator Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) has said he would “definitely consider” any articles of impeachment approved by the House. However, Senator Roy Blunt (R., Mo.), said on Sunday that there was “no way” the Senate would impeach Trump.