Senate

Trump attorney withdraws request to not hold impeachment trial on Saturday

An attorney for former President Trump has withdrawn his request that the Senate pause the impeachment trial between Friday evening and Sunday.

David Schoen, one the president’s attorneys, had sent Senate leadership a request over the weekend asking that the trial be delayed between roughly 5 p.m. on Friday until Sunday in order to observe the Jewish Sabbath.

But Schoen sent Senate leadership and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who will preside over the trial, a letter on Monday withdrawing his request, citing concerns that it will delay the impeachment proceedings.

“This meant causing you to lose Friday evening and all day Saturday that you previously intended to have for the trial. I very much appreciated your decision, but I remained concerned about the delay in the proceedings in a process that I recognize as important to bring to a conclusion for all involved and for the country,” he wrote in the letter.

“Accordingly, based on adjustments that have been made on the president’s defense team, I am writing today to withdraw my request so that the proceedings can go forward as originally contemplated before I made my request,” he wrote.

Schoen added that while he will not be present on Saturday, his role “will be fully covered” by other members of the defense team.

The decision could add a last-minute change to the impeachment trial schedule, with the Senate needing to pass the organizing resolution on the framework of the trial on Tuesday.

Under a deal reached by Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), opening arguments in the trial are expected to begin on Wednesday.

The Senate had been expected to honor Schoen’s previous request to not hold the Senate trial on Saturday. Typically, the Senate meets for its impeachment proceedings every day but Sunday.

Both the House impeachment managers and Trump’s team will have 16 hours spread out over two days to make their case to senators, who are sitting as a jury. That would mean House impeachment managers will make their case on Wednesday and Thursday and Trump’s team on Friday and Sunday.

Under the resolution released earlier Monday, the Senate would pause the trial on Friday afternoon and then reconvene on Sunday afternoon. Senate leadership could still change that so that the trial meets on Saturday before the organizing resolution is passed.

“No trial proceedings shall be conducted on Friday, February 12, after 5:00 p.m., or on Saturday, February 13, 2021. The Senate shall convene as a Court of Impeachment at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 14, 2021,” the resolution states.

Tags Charles Schumer Donald Trump Impeachment Mitch McConnell Patrick Leahy
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