(CNN)House Democratic leaders have not finalized plans for the coming week, after spending several hours on a call Saturday night working through the possible outcomes tied to impeachment, according to a source with direct knowledge of the call.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi held the call with her leadership team as the Democratic caucus has moved into an almost completely unified position in support of impeaching President Donald Trump for incitement of the insurrection that overran the US Capitol on January 6. But the timeline — Trump has only 10 days in office — and the repercussions of a Senate trial on the opening days and weeks of President-elect Joe Biden’s term have started to weigh heavily on conversations. Politico first reported the details of the House Democratic leadership call. House Democrats are also discussing the option of impeaching Trump this week and waiting until later to send the article of impeachment over to the Senate to delay the trial until after the early days of Biden’s presidency, according to Democrats in the party’s leadership. Clyburn: House may wait until after Biden's first 100 days to send impeachment articles to SenateSouth Carolina Democratic Rep. James Clyburn, the House majority whip, confirmed the discussion on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday morning.Read More”We’ll take the vote that we should take in the House, and (Pelosi) will make the determination as to when is the best time to get that vote and get the managers appointed and move that legislation over to the Senate,” Clyburn told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “It just so happens that if it didn’t go over there for 100 days, it could — let’s give President-elect Biden the 100 days he needs to get his agenda off and running, and maybe we’ll send the articles sometime after that,” he added.Pelosi, in a letter to colleagues sent Saturday night, made clear action would be taken. “When we take our oath of office, we promise to the American people our seriousness in protecting our democracy,” Pelosi wrote. “For that reason, it is absolutely essential that those who perpetrated the assault on our democracy be held accountable. There must be a recognition that this desecration was instigated by the President.”Pelosi also made clear members should be prepared to return to Washington this week to take action. Democrats are looking at having votes no sooner than Wednesday but they are still sorting out their plans, sources tell CNN. Trump considering Giuliani and Dershowitz for impeachment defense teamThe level of unity in the caucus has been driven by the visceral reality of January 6, a day that led to the deaths of five people and sent lawmakers — for a time cornered inside the House chamber as rioters who chanted for violence banged on the doors outside — scattered into undisclosed locations under guard from heavily armed law enforcement officers.The action Democrats choose to pursue, however, remains an open question. House Democrats plan to introduce an impeachment resolution on January 11 drafted by Reps. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Jamie Raskin of Maryland and Ted Lieu of California. It already has nearly 190 co-sponsors. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made clear in a memo circulated last week that even if the House moved in the coming days to impeach Trump, the Senate would not return to session before January 19. That would place the start of the trial on January 20 — the date of Biden’s inauguration. From there on out, the Senate is rendered mostly incapable of any action beside the trial until its completion, as was apparent during the first Trump impeachment trial. House Democratic leaders have begun to factor in what that could mean for Biden’s opening days as president — from the confirmation of his Cabinet nominees to the aggressive stimulus proposal he plans to push from his first moments in office. Democrats on the leadership call Saturday night brought this issues up specifically, as they attempted to navigate the complicated dynamics. Republican Sen. Pat Toomey says he thinks Trump 'committed impeachable offenses' Pelosi, in her letter to colleagues, made clear the path forward is still very much a work in progress. “We will be proceeding with meetings with Members and Constitutional experts and others,” she wrote. “I continue to welcome your comments.”The California Democrat has not only called on Trump to resign, but also urged Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove the President from office. But Pelosi told colleagues on a call Friday impeachment was a real option if that does not happen, noting there was more backing within the House Democratic caucus for impeaching Trump now than there was in 2019 when Trump was first impeached. “The President chose to be an insurrectionist,” Pelosi said, according to one source. “How we go forward is a subject for this caucus.”House Democrats plan to introduce their impeachment resolution on Monday, when the House next comes into session. The latest draft of the impeachment resolution, obtained by CNN, includes one article of impeachment for “incitement of insurrection.” The House Rules Committee is expected to meet Monday or Tuesday to approve a rule that would govern floor debate for an impeachment resolution and a bill drafted by Raskin to create a new mechanism to invoke the 25th Amendment. This story has been updated with additional details Sunday.