The trial for Donald Trump's second impeachment is set to begin in less than three weeks

Donald Trump boards Marine One as he leaves the White House on 20 January. Source: AAP

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will send an article of impeachment against Donald Trump to the Senate on Monday (local time), with the trial set for the week of 8 February.

The US Senate trial of former president Donald Trump will begin the second week of February, after the article of impeachment is transmitted to the chamber early next week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says.

"Once the briefs are drafted, presentation by the parties will commence the week of February 8," Mr Schumer told colleagues on the Senate floor on Friday (local time).

The schedule essentially amounts to a two-week delay, which will allow the chamber to conduct normal business in the interim, including confirmation votes on President Joe Biden's cabinet nominations and potential action on a massive coronavirus relief package.

The House impeached Mr Trump for a historic second time on 13 January, just one week before he left office.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has appointed nine House members as impeachment managers, who she said "are ready to begin to make their case to 100 Senate jurors through the trial process."

Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelos
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelos
Rod Lamkey - CNP/Sipa USA

The managers are to formally transmit the article, a step which according to Senate rules swiftly transforms the chamber into a court of impeachment.

Mr Schumer earlier on Friday said it would be "a fair trial".

"But make no mistake, there will be a trial," he said.

Mr Trump was impeached on a single charge of "incitement of insurrection" for his role in whipping up his supporters during a speech in Washington on 6 January, the day a pro-Trump mob stormed Congress and threatened the lives of politicians and then-vice president Mike Pence.

Five people died in the violence, including a police officer.

The Senate's top Republican, Mitch McConnell, severely reprimanded the outgoing president and left the door open for voting to convict Mr Trump.

He had sought a delay for the trial, arguing Mr Trump needs time to hire lawyers and mount a defence.

Mr McConnell on Friday spoke of the "unprecedentedly fast" process in the House, where Mr Trump was impeached in a single day.

"The sequel cannot be an insufficient Senate process that denies former president Trump his due process or damages the Senate or the presidency itself," he said.

Mr Trump survived a first impeachment almost a year ago when the then Republican-controlled Senate acquitted him of abusing his office to try to get dirt on Mr Biden's family before the election.

With the Senate now comprised of 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans, and a two-thirds majority needed to convict Mr Trump, at least 17 Republicans would have to vote against the former president to secure a conviction.

If that occurs, a subsequent vote would be held on whether to ban Mr Trump from holding public office in the future.

A handful of Republicans have spoken out harshly against the president but it remained unclear if there would be enough GOP senators to vote for conviction.

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