On a conference call with Democrats, House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff discussed what would happen with the Senate impeachment trial if the House impeaches President Trump, according to multiple sources on the call.
Since Republicans are unlikely to hold a trial before Jan. 20, Senate Democrats would be able to hold a trial after Jan. 20 once they officially take the majority.
That could be awkward for the Biden administration as the new President tries to unite the country and focus on the Covid-19 pandemic.
Also, Schiff noted a Senate trial after Trump leaves would present a messaging challenge since they are arguing now he is an imminent threat to the republic. But Schiff argued it would still be valid as a constitutional act and convicting Trump after leaving office would be important to prevent him from running again, they said.
Rep. Jamie Raskin also laid out the realities of impeachment and the 25th Amendment.
Raskin said the 25th Amendment could happen via the Cabinet and Vice President Mike Pence, but added that there’s another route: Congress could create a commission, a majority of which could then vote to remove Trump. If Pence consents, he is removed. But they recognize that is unlikely to happen with the time left and that Pence is unlikely to go along. But there was talk about passing such a bill to create a commission to keep the pressure on Trump.
In terms of timing for an impeachment vote, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi hasn’t explicitly said, but did say she would consult with House Rules Chairman Jim McGovern about the process. They are considering allowing the Rules Committee to act first but that committee hasn’t been formally organized yet.