United States President Joe Biden, talking to CNN on Monday, said “it has to happen,” when asked about former president Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.
In a brief inteaction with media, Biden acknowledged the effect the trial could have on his legislative agenda and Cabinet nominees, but said there would be “a worse effect if it didn’t happen.”
He said he believed the outcome of the trial would be different if Trump had six months left in his term, but said he doesn’t think 17 Republican senators will vote to convict Trump.
“The Senate has changed since I was there, but it hasn’t changed that much,” Biden told CNN.
The same day, House impeachment managers formally initiated the proceedings of Trump’s second impeachment trial, as they walked across the Capitol and read the charge against Trump on the Senate floor.
The House’s impeachment managers delivered an article of impeachment to the Senate on Monday, charging Donald Trump with inciting the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol. This made it official that an impreachemnt trial will be held soon.
Chief Justice John Roberts, who presided over Trump’s first impeachment trial, will not be presiding over the forthcoming trial, according to sources. Instead, the Senate’s longest-serving Democrat, Senator Patrick Leahy, is expected to preside over the impeachment trial.
Democrats are currently divided on the issue of witnesses at the trial, with many asserting that senators themselves were witnesses to the insurrection. Others, however, contend that senators, who are jurors in the trial, should not deprive either side of the ability to use witness testimony. During Trump’s first trial, Democrats had unanimously supported bringing in witnesses, but Senate Republicans, then in the majority, had shut them down.
Meanwhile, the Republican party is deliberating on how, or whether to, defend Donald Trump. While it is unclear whether most Senate Republicans will vote to convict Trump, who remains a Republican leader, nearly no one defended his rhetoric after the Capitol riot that left five dead.
Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial will be the fourth impeachment trial of a president in US history.