Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is telling his Republican conference he expects the impeachment trial for President Trump to begin on Tuesday, January 21, and last potentially three to five weeks, two GOP senators told CBS News.
The House is expected to send over the articles on Wednesday or Thursday of this week, after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delayed the transmission. There aren’t enough votes for an outright dismissal of the articles of impeachment, as Mr. Trump had hoped.
The trial will run six days a week, including Saturdays, but not Sundays, sources said. McConnell wants to make this “uncomfortable” for senators, a source added.
Senator John Cornyn, a top Republican, told reporters Monday he thinks senators will be “glued to our chair, starting Tuesday.”
“Tuesday is what I’m what’s what it’s really like feeling like,” Cornyn said. “… And so we’d actually be glued to our chair, starting Tuesday … that’s what that’s what it feels like right now and I realize things could change.”
“That’d be my sense that we will get started with the effort, that doesn’t end until it’s over, on Tuesday of next week,” Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri told CBS News. “And almost irrespective as long as we get it anytime this week.”
Each side will get 24 hours to make their case. Chief Justice John Roberts will preside over the trial.
Republicans hope that after each side presents their case, they will then vote on whether to call witnesses. As CBS News has reported, the White House expects Republican defections, possibly enough to be able to call witnesses. Then, all 100 senators will be able to submit questions to the chief justice, who can then ask 16 hours of questions to both sides. Republicans acknowledge that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer wants to make the five most vulnerable Republicans up for reelection this year to vote on calling witnesses.