After the House voted to impeach President Trump Wednesday, President-elect Biden said the chamber had held the president “accountable” and asked the Senate to do their “constitutional responsibilities” on impeachment – along with “other urgent business.”
“Today, in a bipartisan vote, the House voted to impeach and hold President Trump accountable,” Biden tweeted hours after the 232-197 vote to impeach Trump for “incitement of insurrection.” “Now, the process continues to the Senate—and I hope they’ll deal with their Constitutional responsibilities on impeachment while also working on the other urgent business of this nation.”
Many Democrats pushed for a second Trump impeachment after a mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 in an unsuccessful attempt to stop the certification of Biden’s electoral college win.
Biden has mostly stayed silent on whether he supported impeachment. He is poised to take office in the midst of an uptick in coronavirus cases, a slow rollout of the vaccine and an economy struggling to recover amid the pandemic.
Since Biden assumes the presidency on Jan. 20, and the Senate doesn’t plan to reconvene until the 19th, an impeachment trial would likely take place during the crucial early days of his presidency.
Biden spoke to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi late last week, telling her he would “focus on doing his job and leave it to her to handle impeachment,” a senior Biden adviser speaking on condition of anonymity told The Washington Post.
Immediately after the siege on the Capitol, Biden denounced the attackers as “rioters, insurrectionists, and domestic terrorists” but declined to publicly say whether he supported another impeachment.
On Monday, Biden asked Senators if they could “bifurcate” their time between the Senate trial and other business.
“Can we go half-day on dealing with the impeachment and half-day getting my people nominated and confirmed in the Senate?” he told reporters he asked of lawmakers over concerns about his Cabinet nominees, the Post reported.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, who will soon be Senate Majority Leader, is also looking at ways to speed through the Senate trial, which would traditionally take weeks and leave little time for other business, the Post reported.