Pelosi’s decision on when to formally transmit the impeachment resolution to the Senate comes as Democrats on both sides of the Capitol and in the incoming administration wrestle with how to balance the impeachment trial with President-elect Joe Biden’s agenda. It’s not clear which day Pelosi will send the article, and she didn’t offer any hints when asked at her news conference on Friday, a sign that the situation is fluid.
According to a spokesman for Pelosi, no decision on timing has been made.
“In terms of the timing, as I mentioned, one week ago, on January 6th, there was an active insurrection perpetrated on the capitol of the United States incentivized by the President of the United States,” Pelosi said Friday. “One week later, Wednesday to Wednesday, that President was impeached in a bipartisan way by the House of Representatives. So urgent was the matter they’re now working on taking this to trial, and you’ll be the first to know when we announce that we’re going over there.”
The timing for the House to transmit the article is notable because the Constitution requires the Senate to begin the trial at 1 p.m. ET the following day.
The Senate comes back into session on January 19, the day before Biden’s inauguration, meaning the impeachment trial could start one hour after Biden is inaugurated on January 20, though aides expect the earliest it starts would be January 21.
The Biden team and Senate Democrats, who will take control of the chamber when Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are sworn in, are hoping to be able to separate the Senate’s day, so the Senate works to confirm nominees and consider legislation in the morning and conducts the trial in the afternoon. But that plan would require the consent of every senator.