Republicans seek delay until February to give Trump fair trial

Republicans seek delay until February to give Trump fair trial
Donald Trump left Washington hours before Joe Biden's inauguration. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: Republican Senators are asking Democrats to delay the start of Donald Trump’s impeachment trial until February.

They argue this will give the former president time to prepare a defence. He is accused of inciting insurrection after his supporters stormed the Capitol this month.

House of Representatives’ Democrats are ready to hand the charge to the Senate.

As his term ended on Wednesday, Mr Trump flew to Florida, skipping his successor Joe Biden’s inauguration.

On 6 January, the then president Mr Trump told protesters near the White House to “peacefully and patriotically” make their voices heard as they prepared to march towards the US Capitol. Mr Trump also told them to “fight like hell”.

The demonstration turned ugly and violent as a mob forced its way into the congressional complex where lawmakers were certifying Joe Biden’s election victory.

Five people, including a Capitol Police officer died in the mayhem.

A week later, Mr Trump became the first president of the US to be impeached twice. His trial in the Senate will be the only one ever to have taken place after a president has left office.

On Thursday, on a call to his fellow Republican senators, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell said he had asked that House Democrats to hold off sending the single impeachment article to the Senate until 28 January – a move which would kick-start the trial’s first phase.

Under this timetable, former president Trump would then have two weeks – until 11 February – to submit his pre-trial defence. Arguments of the trial would be expected to begin in mid-February.

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