The House is unlikely to vote on impeachment until the end of the year, meaning the Senate trial against Trump figures to begin in January — just weeks before the Feb. 3 Iowa caucuses. It’s an event that could require the six Democratic presidential prospects to remain in Washington every workday for at least a month.
Depending on when the trial begins, or if it drags on, the trial could affect the New Hampshire primary on Feb. 11, a day shy of the 21 th anniversary of President Clinton’s acquittal after a five-week Senate trial.
There’s no consensus over which Democratic contenders are advantaged by an impeachment trial. Candidates such as Joe Biden or Pete Buttigieg won’t be chained to senatorial desks, leaving them to stump unfettered in the two early states. But the six senators — Michael Bennet, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren — will occupy the national spotlight as jurors, located at the center of the political universe of impeachment.
“We’re in uncharted waters. There’s no model for this,” said Joel Benenson, an adviser to Buttigieg and alum of Hillary Clinton’s and Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns. “We’ve never seen an impeachment trial in a presidential election year ever, let alone multiple senators running for president.”