(AP) – If the House impeaches President Donald Trump, a Senate trial on whether to convict him of inciting insurrection seems all but certain to have to wait until President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated.
That’s the word from a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The spokesman says aides to the Kentucky Republican have told Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s staff that McConnell won’t agree to invoke powers calling senators into emergency session.
That means the Senate almost certainly won’t meet again until Jan. 19. That’s the day before Biden’s inauguration.
The House is set to vote later Wednesday on impeaching Trump, accusing him of rallying a violent mob of supporters to attack the Capitol last week.
In normal order, there would be an impeachment investigation and the evidence would be sent to the House Judiciary Committee, which would hold hearings, draft articles, and send them to the full House. That’s what happened in 2019 when the House impeached Trump over his dealings with the president of Ukraine. It took three months.
This time, with so few days to act — and a feeling among Democrats that there is little need to investigate what happened, since most members of Congress heard Trump speak to his supporters and were in the Capitol when the mob broke in — impeachment is going straight to the House floor for a vote.
One of Utah’s freshman Congressman, Burgess Owens, released a statement Wednesday morning, saying in part, “The articles [of impeachment] raise serious Constitutional questions that deserve a full hearing and considerable debate, a lengthy task that will delay the next Administration’s ability to move forward. The constituents in my district want elected officials to get to work and look to the future, and that is what I am committed to doing.”
Another Utah Congressman, John Curtis, recently introduced a concurrent resolution to Congress to censure Pres. Trump.
The resolution accuses President Trump of “unlawfully attempting to overturn the 2020 Presidential election” and violating his oath of office.
Rep. Curtis released a statement condemning the riots at the U.S. Capitol and calling for a “full impeachment inquiry” into President Trump, saying,
“The events at the Capitol last week were abhorrent; all those involved must be held accountable, including President Trump. Censuring the President and making it clear that Congress does not support any level of his involvement in the riots nor any attempts to undermine an election is a critical step in holding him accountable as more facts continue to unfold. I urge the Speaker and Democratic leadership to allow time for a full impeachment inquiry so we can properly bring these facts to light and hold those responsible accountable.”