Schumer says Pelosi to deliver Trump impeachment article Monday, triggering trial amid standoff with McConnell

Senate leaders yet to come to agreement on special impeachment rules, organizing resolution

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Friday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is sending the article of impeachment against former President Trump to the Senate on Monday, paving the way for a trial.

The House of Representatives this month voted to impeach Trump for the second time in his presidency for "incitement of insurrection" after a mob of his supporters besieged the Capitol on Jan. 6 in a failed attempt to stop the certification of then-President-elect Joe Biden's electoral college win. 

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"I've spoken to Speaker Pelosi who informed me that the article will be delivered to the Senate on Monday," Schumer, D-N.Y., said on the Senate floor Friday. 

Pelosi confirmed her plan in a separate statement. 

"We are respectful of the Senate’s constitutional power over the trial and always attentive to the fairness of the process, noting that the former president will have had the same amount of time to prepare for trial as our Managers," Pelosi said. "Our Managers are ready to begin to make their case to 100 Senate jurors through the trial process."

Schumer has been discussing how to organize the Senate and special rules for the upcoming impeachment trial with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

No agreement has been reached on either front. If one is not on impeachment rules before Monday, then the standing Senate impeachment rules will go into effect, forcing the Senate to convene every day at 1 p.m., excluding Sundays, to consider the impeachment "until final judgment shall be rendered." 

McConnell suggested a set of pre-trial procedures on Thursday that would delay the event by a few weeks, but the decision by Pelosi, D-Calif., instead sends the Senate potentially careening on a collision course with a full trial next week. 

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"Yesterday I also shared a proposal for the pre-trial steps in the Senate impeachment process that appears to be headed our way -- and as I understand is about to be headed our way Monday," McConnell said. "By Senate rules, if the article arrives, we have started trial. Right then."

The minority leader warned against rushing the actual impeachment trial after what's been called a "snap impeachment" in the House. He warned rushing the trial without due process may harm the Senate as an institution. 

McConnell added: "[A delayed timeline] would have provided the Senate some more floor time before we step up fully into the unknown of a trial, which by the way would have been a substantial benefit to the incoming administration."

Meanwhile, President Biden has been pushing the Senate to find a way to handle his Cabinet confirmations, legislation and the impeachment trial all at the same time. Schumer has been supportive of this goal.

"The Senate must and will do all three; COVID relief; confirmation of nominees and impeachment trial," Schumer said. He said the Senate's "first order of business" is to confirm more Biden nominees, including Lloyd Austin for secretary of defense on Friday. Austin was confirmed by a vote of 93-2 shortly after the leaders wrapped their remarks. 

"The Senate will also conduct a second impeachment trial," Schumer added, addressing some Republicans who have said a Senate cannot hold an impeachment trial after a president has left office. 

"Make no mistake, a trial will be held in the United States Senate and there will be a vote to convict the president," Schumer said, saying any argument otherwise "defies basic common sense."

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., stands with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., as a joint session of the House and Senate convenes to confirm the Electoral College votes cast in November's election, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021.  The two leaders -- after swapping jobs --will have to figure out how to manage the Senate's agenda with an impeachment trial set to start when the House delivers the article of impeachment against former President Trump Monday. (Kevin Dietsch/Pool via AP)

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., stands with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., as a joint session of the House and Senate convenes to confirm the Electoral College votes cast in November's election, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021.  The two leaders -- after swapping jobs --will have to figure out how to manage the Senate's agenda with an impeachment trial set to start when the House delivers the article of impeachment against former President Trump Monday. (Kevin Dietsch/Pool via AP)

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is one of the Republicans who are saying an impeachment trial is impermissible. He doubled down on that Friday. 

"I think it’s obvious that the post-presidential impeachment has never occurred in the history of the country for a reason, that it’s unconstitutional, that it sets a bad precedent for the presidency and it continues to divide the nation," he said. "And on the facts, his speech is not incitement under the law."

Meanwhile, McConnell and Schumer are also haggling over what's called an "organizing resolution" for the upcoming Congress. With the Senate split evenly between Republicans and Democrats, they are working off the template of a 2001 power-sharing agreement between that Congress' Republican and Democrat leaders -- that was the last time the Senate was split evenly on party lines.

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But McConnell is demanding that Schumer commit to not getting rid of the legislative filibuster, which many in his party are interested in doing. Schumer has called that proposal "extraneous."

He added on the Senate floor Friday that the agreement is "unacceptable and it won't be accepted." 

McConnell responded that it has long been assumed that no Senate leader would ever get rid of the filibuster, which is considered an essential element to the Senate as an institution. He also noted that Schumer and Democrats often took advantage of the filibuster when they were out of power.

"Our current Democratic colleagues used it liberally, liberally over the last several years when they were in the minority," McConnell said. "More than two dozen signed a bipartisan letter in twenty seventeen saying our Republican majority should not break the rule by brute force... I agree, I didn't do it."

McConnell added: "President Trump was not happy with that. He tweeted against me multiple times."

Fox News’ Kelly Phares and Chad Pergram contributed to this report.