President Biden believes former President Donald Trump’s Senate impeachment trial must proceed as he tries to “heal the country” after his predecessor.
“He was impeached by the House and it has to move forward, otherwise it makes a mockery of the system,” Biden told People in an interview published Wednesday. “It’s probably not likely to get 17 Republicans to change their view and convict on impeachment, but I think it’s important that there be certain basic standards.”
Trump’s defense team on Tuesday responded to the House Democratic impeachment case against him before his trial is scheduled to start next Tuesday before an evenly divided Senate. In their response to the trial summons, Trump’s lawyers argue the process is unconstitutional because the former president is no longer in office. It also infringes on his right to free speech, they say.
To convict Trump, 60 senators must agree with the single impeachment article passed by the House last month, which states he incited the Jan. 6 sacking of the U.S. Capitol.
On Wednesday, Biden added, “I’m not looking for any retribution. My job is to try to heal the country and move us forward, because I think we have so many opportunities as a country.”
Last week, White House press secretary Jen Psaki walked back other comments Biden made regarding Trump’s second impeachment. Since Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20, Psaki has striven to distance her boss from the proceedings while he focuses on the country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“He’s going to allow them to move forward at the pace and manner that the leaders in the Senate determine, and I can promise you that we will leave the vote counting to leaders in the Senate,” Psaki said.
While Biden suggested last week that Trump’s impeachment trial was doomed to fail, he told CNN the outcome might have been different if the former president still had six months left in his term.
Biden’s sit-down with People provides a glimpse into how he’s managing his first two weeks in his new job.
“How long is this going to take?” he asked at one point. “I need to get back to the Oval.”
Author: Naomi Lim
Source: Washington Examiner: ‘Not looking for any retribution’: Biden weighs in on Trump impeachment