Trump: Impeachment timing intended to hurt Sanders

President TrumpDonald John TrumpJustice says it will recommend Trump veto FISA bill Fauci: Nominating conventions may be able to go on as planned Poll: Biden leads Trump by 11 points nationally MORE on Friday accused Democrats of deliberately diminishing Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersProgressives raise alarm over letting lobbying groups access PPP funds Loeffler runs ad tying Doug Collins to Pelosi, Sanders, Biden Hillicon Valley: Tech companies lead way on WFH forever | States and counties plead for cybersecurity assistance | Trump weighing anti-conservative bias panel MORE’s (I-Vt.) chances of winning the party's presidential nomination by keeping him off the campaign trail to serve as a juror in the Senate impeachment trial.

The president in a pair of tweets sought to exploit potential frustration among Democrats by echoing a theory among some lawmakers that Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMcCarthy urges Democrats to pull surveillance bill The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Major space launch today; Trump feuds with Twitter How lawmaker ties helped shape Fed chairman's COVID-19 response MORE (D-Calif.) was aiding the 2020 candidacy of former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenProsecutor investigating whether Tara Reade gave false testimony as expert witness Poll: Biden leads Trump by 11 points nationally George Floyd's sister says Minneapolis officers should be charged with murder MORE by timing impeachment votes to keep Sanders and other candidates in Washington as the Iowa caucuses approach.

"They are rigging the election again against Bernie Sanders, just like last time, only even more obviously," Trump tweeted. "They are bringing him out of so important Iowa in order that, as a Senator, he sit through the Impeachment Hoax Trial."

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"Crazy Nancy thereby gives the strong edge to Sleepy Joe Biden, and Bernie is shut out again," he continued.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyJustice says it will recommend Trump veto FISA bill McCarthy urges Democrats to pull surveillance bill The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Major space launch today; Trump feuds with Twitter MORE (R-Calif.) and other lawmakers have suggested that Pelosi is hindering senators running for president by withholding impeachment articles from the Senate until earlier this week, during a critical stretch before the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary.

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Sanders and Democratic Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenPress: Susan Rice would be ready to step in as POTUS Pentagon charts its own course on COVID-19, risking Trump's ire Warren to host high-dollar fundraiser for Biden MORE (Mass.), Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharOmar condemns use of rubber bullets, tear gas on crowds at George Floyd protest Press: Susan Rice would be ready to step in as POTUS Four Minneapolis officers involved in death of unarmed black man fired MORE (Minn.) and Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetCongress headed toward unemployment showdown Fight emerges over unemployment benefits in next relief bill Job losses approach Depression territory as election looms MORE (Colo.) are all running for president but will be jurors in the impeachment trial, which will begin in earnest on Tuesday.

Pelosi has repeatedly denied politics were a factor when considering impeachment matters, and she and other Democrats have said they held onto the articles to secure a more fair trial in the Senate.

Sanders, who is at or near the top of most polls in the Democratic primary, conceded Thursday he is worried about losing valuable time on the campaign trail while he sits through an impeachment trial that could last for weeks.

“I would rather be in Iowa today. There’s a caucus there in 2 1/2 weeks. I’d rather be in New Hampshire and Nevada and so forth. But I swore a constitutional oath as a United States senator to do my job and I’m here to do my job,” he said.

The Iowa caucuses are scheduled for Feb. 3. The New Hampshire primary is eight days later, on Feb. 11.