President Joe Biden said the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump "has to happen," CNN reported Monday.
Biden made the remark on the impending impeachment trial to CNN's Kaitlin Collins in the halls of the West Wing as House impeachment managers transmitted the article of impeachment against Trump on Monday.
The former president was impeached in January for "incitement of insurrection" in relation to the deadly storming of the Capitol building on January 6.
Senators will be sworn in as jurors in the trial on Tuesday. Senator Patrick Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont and Senate president pro tempore, will preside over the trial.
Per a deal struck between Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the impeachment trial is set to begin the week of February 8, giving impeachment managers and Trump's defense lawyers two weeks to prepare arguments. Trump will also be invited via an official summons to provide a written response to the charge brought against him, but it is not immediately clear if the former president intends to do so.
The president acknowledged that the impeachment trial could influence the success of his own legislative agenda, but he told Collins that there could be "a worse effect if it didn't happen."
Biden still has a number of Cabinet picks that have yet to be confirmed by the Senate, and his administration's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief proposal is already in hot water amid Republican opposition.
Although Democrats have regained control of the Senate, a two-thirds majority vote is required to convict the former president according to the Constitution. Biden told CNN that he doesn't think 17 Republican lawmakers will vote to convict Trump, adding that he thinks the result of the trial would be different had Trump had six months left in his term.
"The Senate has changed since I was there, but it hasn't changed that much," Biden said.