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‘He’s not a pundit’: Biden will not weigh in on Trump impeachment trial, White House says

President will spend coming days meeting with health officials and working on pandemic response

Josh Marcus
San Francisco
Wednesday 10 February 2021 11:22 GMT
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Trump's historic second impeachment trial begins

Political observers might be glued to their TVs for Tuesday's impeachment trial, but Joe Biden won't be, according to the White House.

"Joe Biden is the president," press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Tuesday, after being asked about the Trump team's legal arguments. "He’s not a pundit. He’s not going to opine on the back-and-forth arguments, nor is he watching them."

The former president's attorneys have vowed to use "duelling video" where they believe Democrats like Maxine Waters and others have used similar rhetoric to Trump's speech just before the Capitol riots, which will face deep scrutiny during the impeachment trial in the Senate.

Secretary Psaki said "we keep him pretty busy" and instead of monitoring the impeachment, Mr Biden will meet with National Institutes of Health personnel this week.

Read more: Follow live Trump impeachment updates

The second Trump impeachment began in the Senate on Tuesday, and prosecutors have begun laying out their evidence, including video of Mr Trump's fiery speech before the attack, as well as the video he released afterwards calling members of the mob "very special".

Based off of their preliminary legal filings, Mr Trump's lawyers are expected to argue a president can't be impeached after leaving office, and that his comments surrounding the attack on the Capitol are protected by the First Amendment, though constitutional scholars have cast doubt on the latter point.

Eleven GOP senators voted against the bipartisan-negotiated rules package for the trial, including Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri, the two most outspoken backers of Donald Trump's "stop the steal" movement.

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