House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) transferred the article of impeachment against former President Trump to the Senate on Monday.
The transfer ceremony came after the House voted to impeach Trump for “incitement of insurrection,” after the former president egged a mob of thousands of his supporters to amass at the Capitol on January 6. The mob breached the building and forced lawmakers to evacuate, and five people died during the riot including a Capitol police officer.
Ten Republicans joined all House Democrats voting for impeachment. In order to convict Trump, Senate Democrats will need the support of at least 17 of their GOP colleagues. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) reportedly hopes to convict Trump, which would allow the Senate to hold a simple majority vote to ban the former president from running for office again.
However, it is unclear if McConnell will be able to gather the necessary votes for a conviction.
“I think the trial is stupid, I think it’s counterproductive,” Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) told the Associated Press earlier on Monday, adding that “the first chance I get to vote to end this trial, I’ll do it.”
Senator Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) was also skeptical about the prospects for conviction.
“I think a lot of Americans are going to think it’s strange that the Senate is spending its time trying to convict and remove from office a man who left office a week ago,” Cotton said.
According to the schedule agreed upon by McConnell and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), the trial may begin the week of February 8. House impeachment managers may use the interval to prepare their cases.
The current proceedings mark the first time that a U.S. president has been impeached twice. Trump was first impeached by the House over his dealings with Ukraine.