US President-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday called on Senate leadership to work on other business while dealing with their responsibilities on impeachment after a House of Representatives vote that made Donald Trump the first US president ever to be impeached twice.
While he said in a statement Wednesday that the House's vote "to impeach and hold the president accountable" was "a bipartisan vote cast by members who followed the Constitution and their conscience," Biden wants to hit the ground running on a broad spectrum of economic and public health initiatives when he takes office next week. He said the Senate needs to be able to follow through on Trump's impeachment trial while working on his agenda.
"This nation also remains in the grip of a deadly virus and a reeling economy," Biden continued.
"I hope that the Senate leadership will find a way to deal with their Constitutional responsibilities on impeachment while also working on the other urgent business of this nation," Biden said in a statement.
Biden said it was important that a Senate impeachment trial in the early days of his term not delay work on his legislative priorities, including Cabinet confirmations, and urged Senate leaders to find a way to do both at the same time.
The vote in the Democratic-controlled House was 232-197 following the deadly assault on American democracy, although it appeared unlikely the swift impeachment would lead to Trump's ouster before his four-year term ends and Democratic President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated on January 20.
The House passed a single article of impeachment - a formal charge - accusing Trump of "incitement of insurrection," focused on an incendiary speech he delivered a week earlier to thousands of supporters shortly before the pro-Trump mob rampaged through the Capitol.
The mob disrupted the formal certification of Biden's victory over Trump in the November 3 election, sent lawmakers into hiding and left five people dead, including a police officer.