On Tuesday, one of the GOP’s leaders in the Senate, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) said he thinks President Trump’s impeachment trial will be over by the time Trump delivers the State of the Union speech on February 4. Blunt told KSSZ the Senate trial would be “pretty predictable” and happen “quickly,” adding, “My guess is we’ll be done with this by the time the president comes.”
Blunt opined, “What’s happening on the impeachment front doesn’t seem too be complicated; it’s an issue I wish the country wasn’t dealing with. I said on a couple of the Sunday shows a week or two ago that for the first 180 years of the country’s history we’d only gone to presidential impeachment one time and here in the last 46 years or so, we’ve gone to this process three times in a way that is almost become dangerously routine.”
He continued, “If a majority of the House of Representatives can impeach a president as sort of a routine, “Well, we’ve done this 20 years ago and we did it 20 years before that and let’s send it over to the Senate and see what happens,” I think that’s concerning, but Nancy Pelosi said at very start of the year if impeachment wasn’t bipartisan, it wouldn’t work and it clearly was no bipartisan in the House, not a single Republican voted for the articles of impeachment and a couple of Democrats didn’t either. That’s not an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote but it certainly means it wasn’t a bipartisan decision that this is something in an election year we should move forward with.”
Blunt said, “So I think what’s going to happen is pretty predictable; even us getting the articles of impeachment from the House is something that the Speaker, who is a very powerful person, can’t control, telling the Senate what the house has decided to do under the Constitution.”
Asked if there were a timetable set for the Senate trial, Blunt responded, “Well, at one time both the House and the Senate were of the view that this is constitutionally important that this is something that needs to happen quickly. I think it will still happen quickly. Just reading yesterday in the information we received about the state of the union, that the president’s been invited by the Speaker to come and give the State of the Union speech on February 4th, my guess is we’ll be done with this by the time the president comes.”
He later concluded, “I think we should have had enough time for both the House to fairly present its view of why the president should be impeached and for the president, I’d argue for the first time to have a chance for his lawyers to explain why he shouldn’t be, and then we’ll have that vote and move on.”
If there is a Senate trial, it would have to come after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sends the two articles of impeachment to the Senate and appoints the House managers, which could not happen until January 7, the first day the House is back in session.
As msn.com noted, “Under the Senate’s impeachment rules the trial proceedings would start the next day absent an agreement from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on the schedule.”