Former Assistant Secretary of State for George W. Bush Robert Charles speaks out against the 'damaging impeachment' and looks ahead to possible outcomes.
President Trump is expected to travel to his resort at Mar-a-Lago in Florida the morning of Jan. 20 – the day of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration – where he is expected to reside after his presidency, Fox News has learned.
No official announcements have been made, but Fox News has learned that Trump’s tentative plan is to depart the White House that morning and travel to his Palm Beach resort.
Fox News has learned that the president is also expected to bring a number of staff members with him, including personal assistant Nick Luna; Cassidy Luna, his wife and a deputy assistant to the president; Molly Michael, who currently serves as Oval Office operations coordinator; Cassidy Hutchinson, the director of Legislative Affairs; and press aide Margo Martin.
The president announced last week that he would not attend Biden’s inauguration, in an extraordinary move, making him the first to skip the inaugural ceremony of his successor since 1869.
"To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th," the president had tweeted — hours before being permanently suspended from the platform.
Trump will be the fourth president to not attend his successor's Inauguration Day. Former presidents John Adams, John Quincy Adams and Andrew Johnson did not attend their successors' inaugural ceremonies.
Meanwhile, the House on Wednesday made history by voting to impeach Trump for a second time — this time for "incitement of insurrection" after pro-Trump supporters besieged the Capitol on Jan. 6 in a failed attempt to stop the certification of Biden’s electoral college victory.
The House voted 232-197 to impeach the president. Ten Republicans joined with Democrats.
It is unclear when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will send the article of impeachment to the Senate for trial, but concerns are being raised on both sides of the aisle that doing so before Inauguration Day could hamper Biden’s congressional agenda in the first days of his presidency.
The Senate is in recess and will return on Jan. 19. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told GOP colleagues this week that the upper chamber would not reconvene early to take on impeachment without the consent of all 100 senators.
The House can deliver a message to the secretary of the Senate while they are in recess, informing the Senate that the House has appointed managers to exhibit, or read aloud, the articles of impeachment. But the Senate can take no action on that message until it reconvenes on Jan. 19.
Once the Senate reconvenes, the secretary of the Senate notifies the body of receipt of the message from the House managers, triggering the Senate’s impeachment rules.
During Trump’s January 2020 impeachment trial, and during former President Bill Clinton’s January 1999 impeachment trial, the Senate instructed House managers to exhibit, or read aloud, the articles of impeachment the day after the Senate’s rules were triggered.
Based on Senate Impeachment Rule III, after the articles are exhibited by the House managers, "the Senate shall, at 1 o’clock afternoon of the day… or sooner if ordered by the Senate, proceed to the consideration of" the article.
"Timing is everything, they say," a senior GOP aide told Fox News. "With this reality check, will Pelosi and Schumer be so selfish and shortsighted that they don’t let Biden have his day in the sun (on Inauguration Day) and get a clean start on his mission to heal the nation?"
Biden, earlier this week, told reporters he asked senators if they could "bifurcate" their time between the Senate trial and other "urgent" business.
"Can we go half-day on dealing with the impeachment and half-day getting my people nominated and confirmed in the Senate?" he told reporters.
The focus of Biden team is Senate confirmations of key Cabinet posts, as well as the Biden agenda.
"I hope that the Senate leadership will find a way to deal with their Constitutional responsibilities on impeachment while also working on the other urgent business of the nation," Biden said after Trump was impeached. "From confirmations to key posts such as secretaries for Homeland Security, State, Defense, Treasury and Director of National Intelligence, to getting our vaccine program on track, and to getting our economy going again."
Biden added: "Too many Americans have suffered for too long over the past year to delay this urgent work."
Fox News has learned that the president-elect and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will at the same time aim to drive a unifying message, and will stress that the U.S. "can’t afford to wait" on their policy agenda – specifically regarding COVID-19, the economy and national security – or confirmations.
And another source warned that once the Senate holds the article of impeachment, the upper chamber would fall into "paralysis," saying "we can’t do anything else" but focus on impeachment.
"It steps on Biden’s message," the source said.