As Trump Impeachment Trial Heats Up, Biden Steers Clear

Feb 9, 2021
Originally published on February 9, 2021 1:19 pm

During the opening hours of former President Donald Trump's unprecedented second impeachment trial, the current occupant of the White House made it clear that he's continuing to take a hands-off approach to the proceedings.

Asked by reporters whether he planned to watch the trial, President Biden said: "I am not."

Biden, who made the comment as he met in the Oval Office with business leaders to discuss his push for the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 aid package, has done his best to steer clear of the impeachment proceedings since the immediate aftermath of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

He neither fully supported — nor opposed — the House of Representatives' impeachment vote, instead repeatedly saying he was focused on preparing to take office, and intended to leave the matter up to Congress. Biden has also repeatedly declined to weigh in on whether the Senate — the body he served in for decades — should convict Trump on the one impeachment article it's now weighing.

On Tuesday, Biden said he is focused on governing the country, not the fate of his predecessor's legacy. Even as the Senate trial eats up most of the political world's focus over the next week, House lawmakers will be working to turn Biden's aid proposal into an actual piece of legislation.

"Look, I told you before, I have a job," Biden said, noting that more than 450,000 people have already died from COVID-19. "A lot of children are going to bed hungry. A lot of families are food insecure. They are in trouble. That's my job. The Senate has their job. They are about to begin it. I am sure they are going to conduct themselves well.

"And that's all I am going to have to say about impeachment," Biden said.

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