Jim Clyburn Hopes Impeachment Trial Moves Quickly Because 'This Needs to Get Put Behind Us'

While the Senate waits for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to send over the single article of impeachment against Donald Trump, Representative Jim Clyburn said he hopes the proceedings move quickly so the country can move forward.

Speaking to CNN's John King, the South Carolina Democrat echoed President Joe Biden's opinion that Congress can multitask with impeachment and other critical issues, such as the coronavirus pandemic and the economic crisis.

"I think that you can have an impeachment trial and other business taking place at the same time," Clyburn said, noting that last year's impeachment trial took place only in the afternoons.

"Now as for the duration, three days or six days, I don't know," Clyburn added. "But I would hope that they make the presentations as quickly as they possibly can, because for the country's sake this needs to get put behind us—not just for this administration but for the country."

The House of Representatives voted 232-197 to charge Trump with "incitement of insurrection" after a mob of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6 to protest the certification of Biden's win. Five people died in the riot, including one law enforcement officer.

"Shortly before the Joint Session commenced, President Trump addressed a crowd at the Ellipse in Washington, D.C. There, he reiterated false claims that 'we won this election, and we won it by a landslide,'" the impeachment article reads. "He also willfully made statements that, in context, encouraged — and foreseeably resulted in — lawless action at the Capitol, such as: 'if you don't fight like hell you're not going to have a country anymore.'"

While the article was approved on January 13, Pelosi has yet to send it to the Senate. She told reporters on Thursday that she's discussing with the impeachment managers the timing for sending the article to the upper chamber, which will then hold a trial on whether to convict Trump.

A conviction is likely to be an uphill battle, even in the now Democratic-controlled Senate. Seventeen Republicans would need to join with Democrats in finding Trump guilty for a conviction to be approved.

Several Republicans have argued that impeachment will prevent the country from unifying—a centerpiece of Biden's inaugural address and agenda. Pelosi addressed those statements in her press conference, saying, "I don't think it's very unifying to say, Oh, let's just forget it and move on."

Clyburn told CNN on Thursday, "I do believe very strongly that we cannot just accept what happened here."

The congressman also called for an investigation into Republican members of Congress who may have played a role in the January 6 attack by spreading false information about the 2020 election.

"This is the most serious thing that I've seen here in this Congress," Clyburn said. "Whether or not you are sitting on the floor with people who are inviting an insurrection, who were trying to overthrow the government that you're supposed to be here to protect and preserve, that's a very serious charge, and it's been made. We need to investigate to find out the extent of any members' involvement, if any, in this. And I believe you cannot be any more serious than that."

Newsweek reached out to Clyburn's office for additional comment, as well as Pelosi's and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's offices, on the impeachment timeline.

james clyburn subcommittee on coronavirus crisis
James Clyburn, chairman of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, speaks during a hearing on September 23, 2020. Clyburn told CNN Thursday that he hopes the impeachment presentations against Donald Trump are made "as quickly as they possibly can." Stefani Reynolds/Pool/Getty Images