Washington : US President Joe Biden on Monday (local time) said former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial in the US senate “has to happen.”
“I think it has to happen,” Biden said regarding Trump’s impeachment trial to CNN. The 46th President acknowledged the effect the impeachment trial could have on his legislative agenda and Cabinet nominees but said there would be “a worse effect if it didn’t happen.”
The President told CNN that he believed the outcome would have been different if Trump had six months left in his term, but said he does not 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 said.
The comments come after the House impeachment managers formally triggered the start of Trump’s second impeachment trial after they began reading on the Senate floor the charge against Trump.
The US House of Representatives has delivered to the Senate the articles of impeachment against former President Donald Trump for inciting the riot at the Capitol building on January 6. Last week, US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Trump’s impeachment trial is scheduled to begin the week of February 8, as reported by CNN.
It will be the first time in US history that any president faced two impeachment trials or that any president was impeached after he left office.
On January 13, one week before Biden took office, the lower chamber in the US Congress voted 232-197 to impeach Trump on charges of inciting violence against the US government. Although Trump is no longer president, the Senate could still convict him and vote to ban him from ever running for office again.
It was the second time Trump was impeached by the Democratic-controlled House. The first time he was acquitted by the Senate in February of last year (with only one Republican voting in favour of one article of impeachment). However, unlike the impeachment over the Ukraine aid scandal, GOP (Grand Old Party — another name for the Republican Party) House lawmakers broke rank — with 10 voting to impeach Trump.
It will take 67 votes in the 100-seat Senate to convict Trump on the impeachment charges. This would require 17 GOP senators to break rank. Trump is readying an impeachment defense team for next month’s Senate trial, though he has not commented on it publicly. (ANI)