CNN White House Correspondent Kaitlan Collins reported on Monday that President Joe Biden said a Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump “has to happen.”
Collins reported that Biden made his comments earlier on Monday during an off-camera interview with CNN.
President Joe Biden has offered his most extensive comments since taking office on President Donald Trump's impeachment trial, telling CNN's Kaitlan Collins, "I think it has to happen" https://t.co/2OfPOHhKcd pic.twitter.com/70HEpzEoZp
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) January 26, 2021
CNN Report On Biden’s View Of Trump Trial: ‘I Think It Has To Happen’
Collins also reports that Biden does not believe enough Republicans will vote to convict the former president.
As it stands, 17 Republicans would need to join the Democrats in order to reach the two-thirds threshold to convict.
Biden had previously appeared concerned that an impeachment process might distract Democrats from his agenda, but also reportedly said there would be “a worse effect” if it did not happen.
“The Senate has changed since I was there, but it hasn’t changed that much,” Biden said.
On Monday night, House Democrats delivered the article of impeachment to the Senate, accusing Trump of inciting the riots in and around Capitol Hill on January 6.
Trump is the first president to be impeached twice, though Republicans opposed to impeachment say the fact that he’s no longer president makes the push absurd, and perhaps unconstitutional.
The trial is scheduled to start Feb. 8.
Biden Concerned Impeachment Could Affect His 100 Day Agenda
Biden’s Monday comments to CNN come in the wake of a statement the president released earlier this month in which he called the House impeachment vote “a bipartisan vote cast by members who followed the Constitution and their conscience.”
NEW: Pres.-elect Biden releases statement on impeachment of Pres. Trump: "I hope that the Senate leadership will find a way to deal with their Constitutional responsibilities on impeachment while also working on the other urgent business of this nation." pic.twitter.com/cXpMtNIUiY
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) January 14, 2021
10 House Republicans joined the Democrats in voting to impeach.
“This nation also remains in the grip of a deadly virus and a reeling economy,” Biden said at the time.
He added, “I hope that the Senate leadership will find a way to deal with their Constitutional responsibilities on impeachment while also working on the other urgent business of this nation.”
But was Joe Biden right the first time – will Democrats’ seemingly relentless impeachment efforts distract them from getting on with the business of the nation?
Particularly when it is doubtful there would be enough Republicans to see this through?