by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The six senators seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination expected to spend the bulk of January in early nominating states such as Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina.
Instead, the half-dozen lawmakers seeking promotion to Pennsylvania Avenue may be stuck on the Senate floor for an impeachment trial of President Trump. And during the six-day-a-week afternoon sessions, they’ll be rendered mute, per Senate impeachment rules imposed on all 100 members in the chamber.
No Senate trial date is fixed yet. In fact, it’s not certain when, or even if, the Democratic-controlled House will send over impeachment articles to the GOP majority Senate. And if they do, whether the focus and scope will be limited to Trump’s strong-arming of Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden, or if it will be more expansive to include elements from the Mueller report and other topics.
But with House Democrats eager to move impeachment articles quickly, possibly by the end of the year, it’s a good bet that a Senate trial of Trump could start in early January. It could continue for more than a month, which would bump up against final campaigning, and even voting in the Iowa Caucuses on Monday, Feb. 3, and the New Hampshire Primary on Tuesday, Feb. 11. The Nevada Caucuses follow on Saturday, Feb. 22, with the South Carolina Primary a week later, on Feb. 29.
The dueling schedules would prove a test for how to juggle ambitions for higher office with duties as jurors for the six Democratic senators running for president. …