WASHINGTON (CBS SF/AP) -- Opening arguments in the Senate impeachment trial for Donald Trump on the charge of incitement of insurrection will begin the week of Feb. 8, according to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who announced the schedule Friday evening.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-S.F.) will send the article of impeachment against Trump to the Senate on Monday. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell wanted to postpone the impeachment trial until February to give the former president time to prepare his case and he welcomed the agreement.
"We're ready to be in trial tonight, we can be in trial in two weeks, it's really up to the Senate. But we have a case to make and whether it's tonight or in two weeks the evidence won't change," said Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Dublin) in an interview on CNN Friday.
"I hope they (Senators) vote to convict (Trump) because they want to hold the person who incited this attack accountable. I hope they want to deter a president in the future from doing this again," Swalwell added.
The February start date allows the Senate more time to confirm President Joe Biden's Cabinet nominations and consider his proposed $1.9 trillion COVID relief package -- top priorities of the new White House agenda that could become stalled during trial proceedings.
"We all want to put this awful chapter in our nation's history behind us," Schumer said about the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol siege by a mob of pro-Trump supporters.
"But healing and unity will only come if there is truth and accountability. And that is what this trial will provide."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will send the article of impeachment late Monday, with senators sworn in as jurors Tuesday. But opening arguments will move to February.
Trump's impeachment trial would be the first of a U.S. president no longer in office, an undertaking that his Senate Republican allies argue is pointless, and potentially even unconstitutional. Democrats say they have to hold Trump to account, even as they pursue Biden's legislative priorities, because of the gravity of what took place — a violent attack on the U.S. Congress aimed at overturning an election.
© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report
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