Live Updates: Trumps impeachment trial to begin week of February 8


Former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial will begin the week of February 8, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday evening on the Senate floor, with pre-trial proceedings beginning on Monday evening, soon after the Senate receives the article of impeachment from the House. 

Senators will be sworn in as members of the impeachment court, and House impeachment managers and Mr. Trump’s lawyers will then be given time to draft their briefs. During this period, the Senate will continue with unrelated work. 

Presentation by both sides will begin the week of February 8. Mr. Trump faces the Senate’s judgment on a single article of impeachment: incitement of insurrection. 

Although Schumer referred to the January 6 assault on the Capitol as “a day none of us will ever forget,” an “awful” day he wanted to put behind, he went on to say that “healing and unity will only come if there is truth and accountability, and that is what this trial will provide.”

A trial in February not only gives both sides time to prepare, as Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had requested of Schumer, but it will also allow the Senate more time to confirm President Joe Biden’s nominees. So far, the Senate has confirmed just two. 

Earlier Friday, General Lloyd Austin coasted to an easy confirmation to be defense secretary by a vote of 93 to 2. Austin is a four-star general who retired from military service just four years ago. He is the first Black man to lead the Pentagon.

Today, the Senate Finance Committee unanimously advanced Janet Yellen‘s nomination to be treasury secretary. But the Senate did not hold final confirmation votes on Yellen or on Secretary of State nominee Antony Blinken.

Yellen, at her Senate confirmation hearing this week, called for “big” action on the coronavirus pandemic and economic crisis. “Without further action, we risk a longer, more painful recession now — and long-term scarring of the economy later,” she told senators. 

In addition to Austin, the president’s director of national intelligence, Avril Haines, has been confirmed.

Later in the day, Mr. Biden turned his attention to the economy with two executive orders: one to increase federal food aid and streamline the delivery of stimulus checks, and the second to direct the Office of Personnel Management to develop recommendations to increase the minimum wage for federal employees to $15 per hour.

Mr. Biden has proposed a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan to Congress, but it’s unclear whether it will garner enough Republican support to pass on a bipartisan basis, and it’s possible a budgetary process known as reconciliation may have to be utilized to enact the legislation. Until Congress is able to pass another relief bill, it’s considered by the Biden administration to be a stopgap measure to stabilize the economy.

Biden Ramps Up Covid Fight With Orders Nixing Trump Policies
President Joe Biden speaks during an event on his administration’s COVID-19 response in the State Dining Room of the White House on January 21, 2021.

Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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