President Donald Trump is the first U.S. leader ever to be impeached twice, but it is not entirely clear what comes next for him. Under a normal impeachment process, the United States Senate would not be tasked with deciding whether or not to convict the president and remove him from office. However, with just one week left in his term, it does not appear that that is going to happen.
The House of Representatives passed an article of impeachment of Trump on Wednesday, with the surprising support of 10 Republicans. That article will now be sent to the Senate, but in order to consider, the Senate would need to be called back to Washington, D.C. for an emergency session. That would require the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to both agree and call the meeting. However, on Wednesday, McConnell's office told reporters he will not issue that call.
A representative from McConnell's staff told Axios that McConnell will not join Schumer in calling the senate back, saying: "Even if we started a trial yesterday, there's not enough time to remove him from office." Many lawmakers disagree, but McConnell gave other reasons for stalling this impeachment to reporters from The Associated Press.
McConnell sent a note to other Republican senators on Wednesday, saying that a Senate trial on this second impeachment would last more than seven days, and was therefore not worth having. He pointed out that previous impeachments "have lasted 83 days, 37 days, and 21 days respectively."
McConnell also wrote that he believes the U.S. would be best-served if "Congress and the executive branch spend the next seven days completely focused on facilitating a safe inauguration and an orderly transfer of power to the incoming Biden Administration." Publicly, he said that there is "no chance" the Senate will hold a "fair or serious" trial on such short notice.
Similar complaints were heard from the president's remaining supporters in the House on Wednesday before it voted overwhelmingly to impeach him. However, those in favor of impeachment continuously pointed out that these are unprecedented circumstances, with violent mobs attacking elected officials over false conspiracy theories spread by the president.
As for Trump, he is preoccupied with regaining access to his beloved social media accounts. On Wednesday, he issued a statement to Fox News, saying that he wants "No violence, NO lawbreaking" in the coming week. To achieve this, he asked "big tech" for "help," apparently hinting that he wants his Twitter and Facebook accounts reactivated. Trump leaves office and Joe Biden assumes the presidency on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021.