House Democrats on Monday sent the impeachment article against former President Donald Trump to the Senate, The Hill reports.

The move officially puts Trump on trial for his role in the deadly mob attack on the Capitol earlier in the month.

The ceremonial delivery was a legal formality after the House impeached Trump 12 days ago for “inciting insurrection”. Senate leaders have agreed to postpone the start of the public trial until the week of February 8.

The timeline itself has been strategic, allowing President Joe Biden some breathing room to install several top Cabinet officials and advance the debate over another massive package of coronavirus relief, before the Senate becomes consumed by the highly contentious impeachment trial.

Democrats in both chambers have predicted the trial will be shorter than the 21-day trial in 2020, after Trump was impeached on two charges related to his dealings with Ukraine.

Senate Republicans are already lining up against Trump’s conviction. Some maintain he did nothing wrong, while others are saying it is unconstitutional to impeach a former president. Still others are making a political case, warning that the country is too violently divided to withstand another impeachment trial.

The Hill noted that unlike Trump’s last impeachment, where Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts presided, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the Senate pro tempore and a frequent Trump critic, will be presiding over this trial.

Leahy, however, pushed back on any suggestion he would tip the scale in favor of the prosecuting Democrats.


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