White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Monday repeatedly insisted that President Biden has no plans to wade into nor watch former President Trump’s second impeachment trial a day before it is scheduled to kick off.
During a White House briefing Monday, Psaki was asked whether Biden plans to watch Trump’s impeachment trial this week and if the White House prefers a speedy or witness-heavy approach.
Psaki replied that Biden has a “full schedule” this week, which includes a visit to the NIH and and the Department of Defense. Psaki added that Biden plans to engage with business leaders, mayors, governors as well as Democrats and Republicans in order to move his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan forward “as quickly as possible.”
“So I think it’s clear from his schedule and from his intention he will not spend too much time watching the proceedings any time over the course of this week,” Psaki said, adding that the President will “closely” be in touch with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) regarding his American Rescue Plan.
Psaki said that Biden “will leave the pace and process and mechanics of the impeachment proceedings up to members of Congress.”
Asked later in the briefing about why Biden won’t weigh in on whether Trump should be convicted in the impeachment trial for inciting the deadly insurrection at the Capitol last month, given that the President said in an interview on “60 Minutes” that Trump should not receive intelligence briefings due to “erratic behavior,” Psaki pointed to Biden being “retired from the Senate” and that he is focused on COVID-19 relief.
Psaki doubled down on Biden “leaving it to his former colleagues” in the Senate to “determine the path forward.”
Psaki also said that she does not expect updates on the impeachment trial to be a “primary topic” during Biden’s discussions with Schumer, who the President said he will be in “close contact” with to deliver COVID-19 relief to the public.
“I don’t expect that would be a primary topic,” Psaki said. “I actually expect it would be more about the American Rescue Plan and progress being made on that front.”
Watch the White House briefing below: