The House will deliver its article of impeachment against former President Trump to the Senate on Monday, paving the way for the trial to start as soon as next week.
"Make no mistake, a trial will be held in the United States Senate and there will be a vote whether to convict the president. I've spoken to Speaker Pelosi, who informed me that the articles will be delivered to the Senate on Monday," Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said from the Senate floor.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) confirmed the timing of the delivery in a statement, saying the House's impeachment managers "are ready to begin to make their case to 100 Senate jurors through the trial process."
Under the rules for an impeachment trial, the article moving to the Senate triggers the start of the trial at 1 p.m. the following day, except for Sundays. But Schumer, in his floor speech, said he is having discussions with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) about the timing and length of the trial.
"I've been speaking to the Republican leader about the timing and duration of the trial," Schumer said on the Senate floor.
Spokespeople for Schumer didn't immediately respond to a request for comment about if the trial would start on Tuesday.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Schumer's No. 2, said during a separate interview with MSNBC that he didn't believe a decision had been reached on timing, including if it would start on Tuesday.
But the announcement from Schumer rejects at least part of the request from McConnell, who wanted to wait until Jan. 28, next Thursday, for the article to be sent, and for the start of the trial to be delayed until February.
"Senate Republicans strongly believe we need a full and fair process where the former president can mount a defense and the Senate can properly consider the factual, legal and constitutional questions at stake," McConnell said from the floor on Friday.
Underscoring the fluidity of the timing, senators in both parties, even after Schumer's announcement, didn't discount that the start of the trial could still be delayed if the two leaders can reach an agreement.
"As I understand, right now, there hasn't been an agreed-to schedule on the pre-trial. I think what McConnell laid down was eminently reasonable," said Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), noting that talks were ongoing, said he wasn't presuming that a trial would automatically start on Tuesday.
"I hope what we're doing next week is appointees," Kaine said, referring to votes on President Biden's Cabinet picks.
But other GOP senators, in a warning shot to Pelosi, said that a trial would start automatically.
"If the impeachment articles come over Monday, the opportunity for President Biden to get a Cabinet in place is done until impeachment is done," said Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), adding that it was his "understanding" that a trial would have to start immediately.
Sen. Roy Blunt (Mo.), another member of GOP leadership, said that if Pelosi sends the articles over on Monday, "we start the trial Tuesday at one o'clock."
Pelosi, in her statement, didn't directly address the timing of the Senate trial.
“We are respectful of the Senate’s constitutional power over the trial and always attentive to the fairness of the process, noting that the former president will have had the same amount of time to prepare for trial as our Managers," she said.
The House made history on Jan. 13 by making Trump the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice, exactly one week after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. The article of impeachment, which got the support of 10 House Republicans, accused Trump of committing high crimes and misdemeanors by “willfully inciting violence against the Government of the United States."
The decision to impeach Trump came after he addressed a crowd of supporters at a "Stop the Steal" rally in Washington. During his speech, he repeated false claims of widespread voter fraud and urged those attending to march on the Capitol, where then-Vice President Pence and members of Congress were counting the Electoral College count.