As the second impeachment trial of former President Trump opens in the U.S. Senate this afternoon, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he’s optimistic the rules put in place will keep the proceedings moving quickly.
Grassley expects the trial to be over within a week, under the latest of many timetables. “One would be Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, taking Saturday off because one of the lawyers is an Orthodox Jew and they don’t work on Saturdays,” Grassley says. “And then come in Sunday at 2 and maybe finish on Monday.”
Just last night, Grassley says it was rumored that Jewish lawyer was considering working on Saturday, which could mean the trial will wrap up even earlier. “I can give you another certain figure,” Grassley says. “It doesn’t always work out this way, but there won’t be more than 16 hours of debate between the two sides, evenly divided between the two sides on the presentation of the prosecution and the presentation of the defense.”
The trial begins almost a month after the House charged Trump with incitement of insurrection for his alleged role in the violence at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th. Grassley says it’s the first time a former president has faced impeachment.
“Because this has never happened before, I expect we will hear arguments on both sides about the constitutionality of the whole scheme of things,” Grassley says. “The House managers and former President Trump’s attorneys clearly have different views on the constitutionality.”
Grassley, a Republican, insists he has not made up his mind yet on how he’ll vote as a juror in this trial. “I’ll be doing my duty as a juror, listening to both sides,” Grassley says. “I’ll be listening to the arguments about both the charges brought by the House and also another question we don’t often have — we’ve never had it before, I guess — on whether we ought to have the constitutional right to impeach a former president.”
The constitutional question is the first item that will be considered, starting around noon/Central. Up to four hours will be allotted for that debate and if a simple majority, or 51 of the 100 senators, agree to go ahead, the main part of the trial will begin.