Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) on Tuesday called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to reconvene the chamber ‘immediately’ to allow an impeachment trial of President Trump before Inauguration Day.
Schumer disputed McConnell’s claim laid out in a memo circulated to colleagues Friday asserting it would take all 100 senators to agree to allow business to proceed on the Senate floor before senators are scheduled to return on Jan. 19. Under McConnell’s interpretation, a second Trump impeachment trial in the Senate could not begin until 1 p.m. on Jan. 20, about an hour after President-elect Joe Biden is slated to be sworn into office.
“Leader McConnell is saying you can’t call the Senate back after the House votes for impeachment because it requires unanimous consent — the consent of every senator. That’s not true,” Schumer said at a televised press conference in New York.
Schumer argued that legislation passed in 2004 allows the leaders of both parties to reconvene the Senate at any time.
“There was legislation passed in 2004 that allows the Senate minority and majority leader 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,” Schumer said.
The Democratic leader called on the Senate to “come back ASAP and vote to convict Donald Trump and get him out of office now before any further damage is done.”
The House is expected to pass an article of impeachment on Wednesday.
Tuesday’s press conference was interrupted by an irate protester who stood between Schumer and the camera and started to yell at the Democratic leader. His security team then stepped between Schumer and the demonstrator.
Schumer also called for pro-Trump rioters who stormed Capitol Hill to be put on the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) “no-fly” list, arguing they pose security threats.
“The insurrectionists who breached the U.S. Capitol fall under the definition of threats to the homeland and should be immediately added to the TSA no-fly list,” Schumer said.
“Any of those who were inside the Capitol should be placed on the no-fly list,” he said.