President Joe Biden is making it clear he does not want former President Donald Trump's upcoming impeachment trial to drag on or to interfere with his agenda, particularly as it becomes clearer Trump will not be convicted by the Senate, according to administration officials and allies who are close to the White House.
"He's going to let the Senate do what it needs to do," a Biden ally said, reports The Hill. "We always knew this was going to happen. We always knew this would be the position we're in now with Republicans, and now he's going to respect the process and let it play out."
Biden said this past week he thinks the trial "has to happen," in the wake of the Jan. 6 mob storming the U.S. Capitol. However, it will take 17 Republicans to vote to convict Trump, and Biden said he does not think that is going to happen.
The trial is coming at the same time Biden is trying to strike a deal on his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package and after a Senate vote this week that saw just five Republicans voting against a motion to call the trial unconstitutional.
Biden is also still seeking confirmation on several administration nominees and is stressing a message of unity that might come into question with a long impeachment trial.
"He's come to the White House with a strong unity message and the last thing he wants is for the impeachment trial to define the early days of his presidency," according to one ally.
Meanwhile, there are some Democrats who have advocated waiting for Biden's first 100 days in office to go by before proceeding with a trial, including House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C.
Meanwhile, others, such as Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., have said accountability is needed concerning Trump and the events of Jan. 6, but he has doubts 17 Republicans would vote to convict him.
Instead, Kaine has been consulting with other senators on a resolution to censure Trump for his part in inciting the Capitol riot. The senator said the more urgent need is for COVID relief.
However, the Hill reports, Kaine says his Democrat colleagues "want to see how the trial plays out" before considering his resolution.
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