Impeachment trial won't begin until after Trump leaves office

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The Senate will not take up impeachment of President Trump until after his successor is sworn in, according to the office of the top Republican.

Doug Andres, a spokesman for Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, confirmed that timeline on Twitter, after it was reported by The Washington Post.

If Mr. McConnell had agreed with Democrats’ demands, it’s possible an impeachment trial could have started this week.

Now the earliest it can begin would be an hour after President-elect Joseph R. Biden is sworn in on Jan. 20, experts said.

That creates a tricky situation for Democrats, who had hoped to drop the issue onto the lap of Republicans in the final days they control the Senate.

But now it would land on incoming Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, at a time when the Senate would usually be working to confirm Mr. Biden’s Cabinet nominees.

It also means Mr. Trump will no longer be in power when the Senate would debate his fate. That creates several thorny legal questions about the proceedings, lawmakers have said.

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