Donald Trump's opponents in Congress are moving swiftly to impeach him, but there's one huge obstacle they will not be able to overcome in time.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, has sent a memo to his members explaining how a second Trump impeachment trial would work – and why it wouldn't be completed or even started until after the President leaves office on January 20.
Democrats in the House are expected to introduce and vote on at least one article of impeachment by mid-next week. After that happens, the next step is to hold an impeachment trial in the Senate.
"The Senate is currently in recess and is holding pro forma sessions every three days until January 19," McConnell writes.
There are two more of these pro forma sessions before the 19th, on January 12 and 15.
"Without unanimous consent, the Senate may not conduct any business of any kind during pro forma sessions, including beginning to act on received articles of impeachment from the House," he continues.
"If the House agrees to articles of impeachment against President Trump before January 19, the Senate can receive a message announcing the House has impeached the Senate while the Senate is in recess.
"If the Senate receives an impeachment message during the recess, the Secretary of the Senate notifies the Senate of the message at the next regular session of the Senate. The next regular session of the Senate is January 19.
"Again, it would require the consent of all 100 senators to conduct any business of any kind during the scheduled pro forma sessions prior to January 19, and therefore the consent of all 100 senators to begin acting on any articles of impeachment during those sessions."
The message here is clear as day, and not just because he's put half of it in bold – there is absolutely, positively no way all 100 senators will agree to act on impeachment before January 19.
All it would take is a lone Trump loyalist to delay the proceedings, and there's far more than one of them in the chamber.
The rest of the memo lays out what will happen, assuming the House does pass an article of impeachment before January 19.
The upshot is that the impeachment trial would not begin until 1pm on either January 20 or January 21, meaning either one hour or 25 hours after Trump has left office.
This undercuts one of the key arguments the Democrats have made for impeaching Trump – that he's a danger to the country as long as he remains in power, and must be removed quickly.
However, keep in mind that it is entirely possible to impeach and convict a president after he has left office.
One potential reason to persist with the impeachment, despite the timing, is that a conviction could bar Trump from ever running for public office again, including the presidency.
This all comes in the wake of Twitter's decision to permanently suspend Trump from its platform yesterday. That choice has already caused plenty of fallout.