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Biden doesn’t oppose pushing back Trump impeachment trial, vowing to focus on national ‘crises’ instead

Oliver O'Connell
·2-min read
President Joe Biden speaks about the Covid-19 response before signing executive orders for economic relief on 22 January, 2021 (AFP via Getty Images)
President Joe Biden speaks about the Covid-19 response before signing executive orders for economic relief on 22 January, 2021 (AFP via Getty Images)

Joe Biden does not oppose the possibility of Donald Trump’s Senate impeachment trial being pushed back until next month.

After signing executive orders to protect the federal workforce and provide much needed economic relief to families during the coronavirus pandemic, the president responded to a shouted question from the assembled press.

Asked what he thought of the timeline for a February impeachment trial, Mr Biden responded that he hadn’t heard the details of it, but that it was good to have some time to get the administration up and running.

“I want to thank the Senate for passing our secretary of defence, it looks like our secretary of treasury, it looks like our secretary of state’s in place,” he said, pleased that the upper chamber is moving forward with cabinet confirmations.

“So the more time we have to get up and running to meet these crises, the better.”

At the White House press briefing earlier in the day, the same question was put to press secretary Jen Psaki who replied that the president believes it is up to the Senate and Congress to determine next steps with the former president’s impeachment and the timeline going forward.

"It's up to the Senate and the Congress how they will hold the former president accountable," she said, also saying she had nothing to read out regarding any conversations between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Mr Biden.

Ms Psaki also took the opportunity in the briefing to reiterate that the president ran against Mr Trump because he believes he is unfit to serve “and he’s no longer here because President Biden beat him”.

"We'll leave the accountability steps to Congress to determine."

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell proposed pushing back the start of Mr Trump’s impeachment trial to February to give the former president time to prepare and review his case.

Speaker Pelosi confirmed in a letter on Friday that the House will transmit the single article of impeachment — incitement of insurrection — to the Senate on Monday.

She said that it would be “a momentous and solemn day”.

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