WASHINGTON — President Biden refused to weigh-in on former President Donald Trump’s looming impeachment trial on Monday — telling reporters he’d leave the matter to the Senate.
When asked by a reporter on the White House South Lawn if Trump should lose his “political rights,” Biden responded: “He got an offer to come and testify. He decided not to. We’ll let the Senate work that out.”
The former president’s second impeachment trial will begin on Tuesday after he was convicted by the Democrat-controlled House on the single charge he incited the Jan. 6 siege at the US Capitol.
Trump has refused to testify after he was invited to appear by House impeachment managers, and his lawyers have argued that his speech outside the White House before the riot was not a call to arms.
The Biden administration has repeatedly refused to comment on the proceedings — instead deferring to Democrats in Congress.
The trial will kick off on Tuesday with several hours of debate and a vote on the question of whether it’s even constitutional to impeach a former president.
On Wednesday, the trial will move to 16 hours of arguments for each side.
Trump will almost certainly be acquitted by the Senate. Democrats need 17 GOP lawmakers to break ranks with their party and vote to convict the former commander in chief by a two-thirds majority.
Last month, senators indicated how they would vote when 45 Republicans voted to toss the impeachment trial as unconstitutional.
Both sides have pushed for a speedy hearing as Biden seeks to push his $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue package through Congress and as Republicans seek to begin a new post-Trump chapter.
There will be no proceedings on Friday evening or Saturday following a request from one of Trump’s lawyers who observes the Jewish Sabbath, meaning the trial is likely to run into Sunday.