Impeachment complicates the early days of Biden’s presidency; Lingering questions about how Trump will finish out his term




Media  – President-elect Joe Biden already faces the daunting task of steering a massive coronavirus relief bill through a closely divided Congress as the pandemic and its economic fallout grow.


And now he’ll also have to do it with Donald Trump’s impeachment trial looming. While the timing for the trial depends on when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sends the article of impeachment to the Senate, it could happen as soon as Inauguration Day on Jan. 20.


But even with a delay, the impeachment will create fresh complications for the president-elect, Alexandra Jaffe reports.


Democrats on Capitol Hill say they largely want to see Biden continue his even-keeled approach and focus on his agenda, rather than on impeachment, once he enters office.


But once the proceedings start, it’s certain to be tougher for Biden to completely avoid them, with the trial dominating the news cycle and forcing his former opponent back into the spotlight, even as Biden tries to stay focused on the pandemic.


Trump faces a single charge of “incitement of insurrection.” In pursuing conviction, House impeachment managers will be making the case that Trump’s incendiary rhetoric before last week’s mob attack was not isolated. Rather, they will say, it was part of an escalating campaign to question the integrity of the U.S. election and overturn the results, Lisa Mascaro and Mary Clare Jalonick report.


EXPLAINER: What’s next after House impeachment vote. 


Who Presides? The Constitution says the chief justice is to preside at the impeachment trial of a president. But what about an ex-president? Like so much else about the Constitution, the answer is subject to interpretation. If Trump’s trial begins after Jan. 20, it’s not clear whether Chief Justice John Roberts would make his way to the Senate chamber as he did last year for Trump’s first trial. Impeachment scholars, law professors and political scientists offer differing views, Mark Sherman reports.


Lingering Questions: As President Trump’s turbulent term draws to a close, his highly unconventional approach to the office and its protocols linger over the usually carefully choreographed transfer of power. There are plenty of unanswered questions about how he will spend his last days in office. More pardons may be afoot. There’s also uncertainty about when he will leave town and whether he will reach out to Biden. Last week the White House invited Biden to spend the night of Jan. 19 at Blair House. Officials do not expect Trump to invite Biden to the White House for the traditional pre-inauguration tea, but they said it is still a remote possibility, Zeke Miller reports.

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