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House debates ahead of second Trump impeachment vote

Yahoo Finance's Rick Newman joins Kristin Myers to break down the latst developments on the Trump impeachment debate.

Video Transcript

KRISTIN MYERS: I want to bring on Yahoo Finance's Rick Newman now to talk about impeachment, because, Rick, you're actually saying this could help President-elect Biden after he takes office. Explain that for us.

RICK NEWMAN: I think it could help Biden if the Senate actually convicts Trump. So it looks pretty clear the House is going to impeach Trump today. It's then going to go to a second trial for President Trump in the Senate. Not clear where that's going to come out. It would take 17 Republican senators to join all 50 Democrats to actually convict Trump. If the Senate were to do that, though, I think that would actually be great news for Biden.

Biden does not want to start his presidency this way. He's worried that if the Senate takes up an impeachment trial, essentially on the day he's inaugurated, it's going to delay his cabinet nominees from getting approved, and it's going to delay the legislation that he wants to roll out right away, especially new stimulus legislation. But let's say the Senate does convict President Trump.

I think that would do-- that would do one big thing for Joe Biden, which is it would allow him to say, you know what? The Senate-- Congress has acted. They have officially reprimanded President Trump in the most serious way possible. And that's good enough. That means maybe the Biden Justice Department does not have to investigate Trump for some of the things that we know he did in office that were very questionable.

I mean, there's a lot of evidence that Trump probably did commit crimes as president, and there's going to be a lot of pressure on Biden and on his incoming attorney general and that Justice Department to look into that, to investigate President Trump, and possibly prosecute President Trump, including if Trump tries to pardon himself. There will be a lot of pressure just to go-- just to look into Trump to figure out whether he can do that. If the Senate convicts Trump, that does give Biden a rationale for saying, you know what? The Senate did enough, and I think we should drop it there.

If the Senate does not convict Trump, I think Biden still has this problem. So let's see what happens.

KRISTIN MYERS: Rick, I wanted to really quickly, like 20-second answer quick, ask you what your thoughts are on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell actually delaying that Senate trial until after the inauguration. There were some tweets out there that it might be happening as early as this Friday.

RICK NEWMAN: I think that was the base case all along. The Senate is not scheduled to come back into session until January 19. There was some thought that maybe McConnell would call the Senate back sooner on an emergency basis. I'm not sure this is completely settled. That could still happen. But I think the base case was always the Senate would take this up right around the-- not the 19th itself, but the 20th or maybe the 21st.


RICK NEWMAN: And my guess is that is what is most likely to happen.

KRISTIN MYERS: All right, Yahoo Finance's Rick Newman. Thanks for breaking that all down for us.