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Senate leader: Verdict on Trump’s impeachment will be given after the end of his tenure

Senate leader: Verdict on Trump’s impeachment will be given after the end of his tenure
January 14
03:02 2021

US President Donald Trump has been impeached by the house of representatives – but that process could end up as a mere ceremony.

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Mitch McConnell, the senate majority leader, has said the upper chamber cannot decide on Trump’s fate until his tenure expires on January 20.

He said with the time constraint, the congress and the executive should instead be “completely focused” on facilitating a safe inauguration for the Joe Biden-led administration.

TheCable had reported how the house voted 232-197 to impeach Trump for a record second time.

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On Wednesday, the majority of house members — including 10 of Trump’s fellow Republicans — voted in favour of impeaching him for encouraging his supporters to storm the Congress on January 6.

The impeachment resolution chargesd Trump with just one article: “incitement of insurrection”.

It is not clear when the house will transmit the article of impeachment to the senate which will decide the president’s fate.

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But there are indications Trump’s impeachment debate may not be finalised by the senate until after the end of his tenure, which means he remains in office notwithstanding the house reolution.

In a statement issued moments after the house resolution, McConnell said “it is a fact” that the senate cannot give a final verdict on the impeachment process within the next one week.

“Given the rules, procedures, and Senate precedents that govern presidential impeachment trials, there is simply no chance that a fair or serious trial could conclude before President-elect Biden is sworn in next week,” the statement read.

“The Senate has held three presidential impeachment trials. They have lasted 83 days, 37 days, and 21 days respectively.

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“Even if the Senate process were to begin this week and move promptly, no final verdict would be reached until after President Trump had left office. This is not a decision I am making; it is a fact.

“The President-elect himself stated last week that his inauguration on January 20 is the ‘quickest’ path for any change in the occupant of the presidency.”

Trump had earlier described the move to impeach him as a “continuation of the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics.”

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