Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced on Friday that opening arguments in the upcoming impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump will begin on the week of February 8. As reported by the Associated Press, the delayed start date came as the result of an agreement with Senate Republicans, who had endeavored to give the one-term executive an opportunity to assemble his legal team.
Trump was impeached last week by the House of Representatives for the second time in his presidency when 222 Democrats and 10 Republicans voted to try him for inciting insurrection. On the morning of January 6, the former commander-in-chief urged thousands of his supporters to march on the U.S. Capitol Building as Congress worked to certify the results of the electoral college -- a development that ultimately proved deadly and delayed certification by several hours.
This came after months of claims of election fraud from Trump and his supporters in the GOP.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is slated to deliver the articles of impeachment on Monday, with initial proceedings scheduled for the following day. When that finally occurs, it will mark the first time a former president will have faced impeachment after leaving the Oval Office -- an action that some Republicans have deemed potentially unconstitutional.
Nevertheless, Schumer is calling for Trump to be held accountable for his perceived role in encouraging the violence.
"We all want to put this awful chapter in our nation's history behind us," Schumer said. "But healing and unity will only come if there is truth and accountability. And that is what this trial will provide."
Per The Inquisitr, some Democrats have also considered using the 14th amendment to prevent Trump from ever holding public office again. While those discussions are separate from the impeachment effort, Schumer has seemingly indicated a level of support for that avenue as well, expressing his belief that Trump should not be allowed another opportunity to lead the country.
With the trial being put on the back burner for the next two-plus weeks, the Schumer and company will focus their efforts on confirming the cabinet nominations of President Joe Biden, who officially assumed office on Wednesday. The legislative body will also be considering a new COVID-19 relief bill.
On Friday, the Senate voted 93-2 to confirm Biden's pick for secretary of defense, retired Gen. Lloyd Austin. As a result, the 67-year-old -- who was previously the Commander of U.S. Central Command -- will become the first African American to run the department, per CNN. Only Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Josh Hawley of Missouri voted against his confirmation.