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McConnell rejects early Trump impeachment trial

(Xinhua)    09:02, January 14, 2021

WASHINGTON, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to call the Senate back before the current recess ends, his office confirmed on Wednesday, meaning if President Donald Trump is impeached on the same day, the Senate trial will be held after the president steps down.

A spokesperson confirmed that the Kentucky Republican will not reconvene the upper chamber before the recess ended on Jan. 19, one day before President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in as the next president.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who on Tuesday urged McConnell to bring senators back early to hold an impeachment trial against Trump while the president is still in office, has been informed of the majority leader's decision, according to the spokesperson.

McConnell circulated a memo among Senate Republicans last week saying to bring back the Senate early would require the consent of all 100 senators. It stated that unless there is unanimous consent from senators, Trump's impeachment trial would not be allowed to begin until 1 p.m. ET on Jan. 20, at which time Biden is already sworn in.

"The Senate trial would therefore begin after President Trump's term has expired - either one hour after its expiration on Jan. 20 or twenty-five hours after its expiration on Jan. 21," said the memo.

On Tuesday, Schumer told reporters in New York that the unanimous consent requirement "is not true," citing legislation passed in 2004 that that gives Senate minority and majority leaders authorities to call the Senate back into session during emergencies.

"There was legislation passed in 2004 that allows the Senate minority and majority leaders to jointly reconvene the Senate in times of emergency. This is a time of emergency," Schumer said.

"I've asked him to call the Senate back - all he needs is my agreement, I'm still minority leader," he said.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wen Ying, Du Mingming)

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