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Schumer Says Impeachment Trial Will Move ‘Quickly,’ Won’t Require Many Witnesses

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) participates in a news conference at the U.S. Capitol, October 1, 2020. (Erin Scott/Reuters)

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Monday evening that he expects that the impeachment trial of former president Trump will move “relatively quickly” and won’t require many witnesses.

“The trial will be done in a way that is fair but … relatively quickly,” Schumer said during an interview with MSNBC that was broadcast Monday night.

“I don’t think there’s a need for a whole lot of witnesses,” the New York Democrat said, adding that Democrats will “not let the Republicans be dilatory.”

House impeachment managers delivered the single article of impeachment against Trump for “incitement of insurrection” to the Senate on Monday.

House Democrats filed the impeachment article after the Capitol riot on January 6 when Trump supporters forced their way past the Capitol Police and marauded through the halls of Congress. Prior to the violence, which ended with five dead, Trump spoke at a rally in front of the White House and encouraged his supporters to “fight like hell.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had pushed to delay to Senate trial until mid-February to give both the Trump team and Democratic prosecutors time to prepare their arguments. Schumer has said that the impeachment trial will begin the week of February 8.

In the impeachment article, Democrats cited the 14th Amendment, which prevents those who “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the U.S. from ever holding public office in the future. If convicted, a separate simple majority vote would be held to determine whether Trump would be barred from running for president in 2024 or any other public office.

Some Republicans have criticized what they see as Democrats’ haphazard approach to the impeachment process.

Senator Marco Rubio said Trump is entitled to “due process,” and cautioned that “the House doesn’t have much of a record of witnesses because they rammed it through very quickly.”

“The first chance I get to vote to end this trial, I will do it, because I think it’s really bad for America,” Rubio said.

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