The Senate impeachment trial of US President Donald Trump is likely to begin in seven days with key players sworn in later this week, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said.
McConnell said he expected the House of Representatives to deliver the articles of impeachment against Trump to the upper chamber on Wednesday.
“We believe that if that happens — in all likelihood — we’ll go through preliminary steps here this week which could well include the chief justice coming over and swearing in members of the Senate and some other kinds of housekeeping measures,” McConnell told reporters.
“We hope to achieve that by consent which would set us up to begin the actual trial next Tuesday.”
Trump faces charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, and the 100 senators will be his judge.
On Thursday or Friday this week, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is expected to be sworn in to preside over the trial, which should last at least two weeks, and could run through mid-February.
The inquiry was centred on a call between Trump and Ukraine’s president in which Trump asked for a probe into the Bidens. Trump also wanted a probe into a conspiracy theory about the 2016 elections.
At the time of the call, Trump was withholding $391m in military aid from Ukraine, and conditioned a White House meeting on the probes, according to witnesses. However, Trump denies any wrongdoing.