The second impeachment trial of Donald Trump will not begin until next month under an agreement reached between Senate Democrats and Republicans.
House Democrats will send the impeachment article of “inciting insurrection” to the Senate on Monday.
But arguments will not begin until the week of 8 February, allowing Mr Trump’s lawyers two weeks to build a defence.
Democrats accuse the ex-president of instigating the deadly 6 January riot at the US Capitol.
The House of Representatives last week charged Mr Trump with inciting the Capitol violence, paving the way for a Senate trial. He will be the first former US president ever to be tried by the Senate.
No president has ever been convicted in such proceedings, and if Mr Trump is found guilty he could end up being barred from future office.
His second trial will begin almost exactly a year after the Senate acquitted him on impeachment charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. That case related to accusations he pressured Ukraine to help smear Joe Biden and his son.
Mr Trump’s term ended on Wednesday and he immediately left Washington, snubbing his successor Joe Biden’s inauguration.
Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer said on Friday that the House would deliver the impeachment article on Monday.https://emp.bbc.com/emp/SMPj/2.36.7/iframe.htmlmedia captionSchumer sets out the next steps in the case against Mr Trump
“The Senate will conduct a trial of the impeachment of Donald Trump. It will be a full trial. It will be a fair trial,” Mr Schumer said on the floor of the Senate.
Mr Trump’s actions ahead of the riot are at the heart of the case. The then-president told protesters near the White House to “peacefully and patriotically” make their voices heard as they prepared to march towards the US Capitol building, which houses the US Congress. He also told them to “fight like hell”.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell’s office said he was glad Mr Schumer had agreed to his request for more time during the pre-trial phase, and that the trial would begin on 9 February.
A statement said: “Especially given the fast and minimal process in the House, Republicans set out to ensure the Senate’s next steps will respect former President Trump’s rights and due process, the institution of the Senate, and the office of the presidency.
“That goal has been achieved. This is a win for due process and fairness.”https://emp.bbc.com/emp/SMPj/2.36.7/iframe.htmlmedia captionWhen a mob stormed the US capitol
Impeachment: The basics
- What is impeachment? Impeachment is when a sitting president is charged with crimes. In this case, former President Trump is accused of having incited insurrection
- What has already happened? The House of Representatives voted to impeach Mr Trump for a second time on 13 January, shifting the process to the Senate for a trial – but that trial could not be carried out before he left office on 20 January
- So what does it mean? A trial can still happen although Mr Trump’s term has ended, and senators can vote to bar him from holding public office again
What had Republicans asked for?
Mr McConnell had asked House Democrats to delay sending the impeachment article to the Senate until 28 January. This would have stalled Mr Trump’s trial until the middle of February.
But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rebuffed Republicans’ request for such a delay.
Mr McConnell had argued that holding off would give the chamber more time to confirm Biden cabinet officials and pass an economic stimulus bill.
Republicans continue to chair Senate committees while Senators McConnell and Schumer work out a new power-sharing agreement, laying out rules for the evenly split, 100-seat chamber.
What does the Biden White House say?
And President Biden also appeared to suggest he would prefer a later trial. He told reporters on Friday: “The more time we have to get up and running to meet these crises, the better.”
The White House will not say whether Mr Biden thinks Mr Trump should be convicted.
“He’s no longer in the Senate and it’s up to the Senate and the Congress to hold the former president accountable,” said press secretary Jen Psaki when asked on Friday.
Even though Democrats now hold a narrow Senate majority, they would need the support of at least 17 Republicans in order to convict Mr Trump, because a two-thirds vote is required.
A handful of Senate Republicans have indicated they are open to conviction, but most have either cast doubt on the legality of trying a president after he has left office, or said the process would be too divisive.
What does the Constitution say?
The rules set out in the US Constitution say that by 13:00 ET on the day following the submission of an impeachment article, the Senate must convene to begin the trial.
The Senate sergeant-at-arms begins the proceedings by warning lawmakers – who will act as jurors – “to keep silence, on pain of imprisonment”.
The trial must then continue every day – barring Sundays – until a verdict is rendered.
Where is Trump now?
Donald Trump left the White House on Wednesday morning and flew on Air Force One to his golf club in Palm Beach, Florida. He arrived minutes before Mr Biden took the oath of office in Washington DC.
Mr Trump is expected to live at the resort he calls his “Winter White House”, despite concerns from some neighbours about the increased traffic and heightened security.
He is planning to maintain a tight-knit coterie of former White House aides in Florida.
According to reports, he wants to raise $2bn (£1.46bn) for his presidential library and has floated the idea of forming a new political party called the Patriot Party.
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