State of the Union 2020: When is Trump's address and how can you watch it?

President could deliver speech in midst of impeachment hearing

Graig Graziosi
Washington DC
Tuesday 04 February 2020 21:36 GMT
What is the State of the Union?

Donald Trump is set to give his State of the Union address in the midst of his impeachment hearing.

The State of the Union is the fulfilment of the US Constitution’s mandate that the president “shall from time to time give to Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”

The address – which, until 1913 was usually a written report – is given to a joint session of Congress and widely broadcast. Beginning with Franklin Roosevelt, the address has been held in the House of Representatives’ chamber at the US Capitol.

This year’s State of the Union address may be especially contentious, as Mr Trump’s impeachment trial will either be recently finished – likely through acquittal thanks to Senate Republicans – or actively ongoing.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi formally invited Mr Trump to deliver the State of the Union two days after House Democrats voted to impeach him.

Should his hearing continue into the early days of February, Mr Trump won’t be the only president to have delivered a State of the Union during an impeachment trial. Bill Clinton also delivered a State of the Union address during his impeachment trial in 1999.

In addition to impeachment woes, Mr Trump will also have a much clearer idea of which Democratic candidate he’ll be facing in the general election as the address falls on the night after the Iowa Caucus.

Following Mr Trump’s address, Gretchen Whitmer, the governor of Michigan, will deliver the Democratic response to the State of the Union.

The response to the State of the Union is a rebuttal offered after each address by a representative of the president’s rival party, a practice which began in 1966.

The address will begin at 9pm EST, with viewers in the UK having to wait until 2am. You will be able to watch the address live on our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

You can also follow analysis and live updates on the State of the Union by following our liveblog.

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