Updated: February 24, 2021
President Joseph R. Biden Jr. is too busy working on his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package to watch former President Donald J. Trump’s impeachment trial, the White House said on Tuesday.
“This is obviously a big story in the country. No one’s denying that here and there’s certainly going to be a lot of attention and focus on it. But our focus and the president’s focus is on putting people back to work, getting the pandemic under control,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said at her Tuesday briefing when asked if Mr. Biden would comment on the trial’s constitutionality.
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“And that means we’re not going to weigh in on every question about the impeachment trial and we don’t feel it’s necessary, or our role to do that.”
The President echoed these sentiments and reaffirmed that his priorities have not changed when he delivered remarks before a meeting with business leaders Tuesday afternoon.
Asked if he would be watching the proceedings, Biden said, “I am not. Look, I told you before: I have a job. My job is to keep people — we’ve already lost over 450,000 people. We’re going to lose a whole lot more if we don’t act, and act decisively and quickly. A lot of people, as I said, are going — a lot of children are going to be hungry. A lot of families are food insecure. They’re in trouble. That’s my job.”
“The Senate has their job; they’re about to begin it. I’m sure they’re going to conduct themselves well. And that’s all I’m going to have to say about impeachment,” Biden continued.
The Senate voted Tuesday to proceed with the impeachment as six Republicans joined their Democratic colleagues in a 56-44 vote favoring the constitutionality of trying the former President.