Biden says Trump's impeachment trial 'has to happen'

Biden says Trump's impeachment trial 'has to happen'
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President Biden said Monday that former President TrumpDonald TrumpMan sentenced to nearly four years for running scam Trump, Biden PACs Meadows says Trump's blood oxygen level was dangerously low when he had COVID-19 Trump endorses David Perdue in Georgia's governor race MORE’s second impeachment trial “has to happen” despite the potential disruptions of his agenda and his Cabinet members’ confirmations.

“I think it has to happen,” Biden told a CNN reporter during a brief interview in the West Wing, which came as House Democrats were formally delivering their impeachment article against Trump to the Senate. 

The president told CNN he recognized that a Senate impeachment trial, which is set to begin Feb. 8, could impact the timeline for his legislative plans and Cabinet nominees but said there would be “a worse effect if it didn’t happen.”

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Biden said he does not expect 17 Republican senators to vote to convict the former president, which would be necessary to get to a two-thirds majority, adding that the trial might have had different results if Trump had more time left in his term.

"The Senate has changed since I was there, but it hasn't changed that much," Biden reportedly said.

Trump earlier this month became the first president to be impeached twice after being accused of inciting rioters who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying Biden’s election win. 

The Capitol raid forced both chambers to halt the Electoral College debates and lawmakers to flee to secure locations as intruders wandered the hallways. After law enforcement secured the building hours later, Congress officially certified the Electoral College results. 

Details about the fourth impeachment trial in American history, such as its expected length and whether witnesses will be called, remain unannounced. 

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will not preside over the proceedings as he did during Trump’s first impeachment trial early last year. Instead, Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyVermont Lt. Gov. launches bid for US House Lawmakers remember Bob Dole: 'Bona fide American hero' Biden signs four bills aimed at helping veterans MORE (D-Vt.), the Senate president pro tempore, will preside over the trial.