As President Donald Trump and his legal team prepare for the long-awaited Senate impeachment trial, speculation is running rampant in the Capitol as to when it might begin.
According to The Hill, Republican Sen. John Cornyn revealed that next Tuesday, January 21, could be the official start date of opening arguments from both sides in the impeachment trial facing the president.
Specifically, Cornyn was asked by reporters on Monday if he felt like Tuesday might be the likely day that the trial begins. That is “what it’s feeling like,” Cornyn said in response. “We’d actually be glued to our chair starting Tuesday, I think.”
News of the possible start date comes on the heels of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi agreeing to finally transmit both articles of impeachment to the Senate to complete the final phase of the Democrat-led impeachment against the president. Pelosi has withheld the articles for approximately a month, citing the need to determine fair rules for Democrats in order to allow them to make their best case in the trial.
Pelosi faced mounting pressure, not only from Republicans, but also from many Democratic senators, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein, for stalling the process for an unprecedented length of time after the House passed both impeachment articles last year.
Even Senate Democrats are getting impatient with Speaker Pelosi. pic.twitter.com/iSBlkvi9Pp
— Senator John Cornyn (@JohnCornyn) January 9, 2020
It should be noted that even though Pelosi signaled that she would be transmitting the articles soon, she, nor her staff, have indicated on what day she will go through with it. Given the current rule-set of the Senate with regard to impeachment trials, the trial would begin no more than 24 hours after she formally hands off the matter to the upper chamber.
Cornyn also gave a sneak peek into what will happen the moment Pelosi transmits the matter to the Senate. He suggested that during the first few days, the Senate would take care of last-minute tasks such as the swearing-in of Chief Justice John Roberts. He also said that proper summons would be sent to the White House and a resolution to formally establish the rules of the trial would be voted on and passed.
Though Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has suggested that Trump’s trial should be modeled after the rules set forth for former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial, he hasn’t revealed what the exact set of rules will be. That’s expected to come after Pelosi sends the articles over to the Senate.