Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell confirmed on Wednesday that he won’t act to reconvene the Senate before Jan. 19, effectively ending the possibility that the Senate will hold an impeachment trial before President-elect Biden takes office. The House voted to impeach Donald Trump Wednesday. McConnell’s office sent a letter to Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s team informing them of his decision on Wednesday, a member of McConnell’s office confirmed. In a statement released after the House voted to impeach Trump, McConnell said, “There is simply no chance that a fair or serious impeachment trial could conclude before President-elect Biden is sworn in next week...In light of this reality, I believe it will best serve our nation if Congress and the executive branch spend the next seven days completely focused on facilitating a safe inauguration and an orderly transfer or power to the incoming Biden administration.”
Earlier in the week, McConnell said he couldn’t force the Senate to meet earlier unless all members agreed to it, but Schumer said that they could call an emergency session that wouldn’t require consent from every senator. The New York Times reported on Tuesday that McConnell wants Trump to be impeached in order to “purge” his presence from the GOP.