President Joe Biden dodged questions Tuesday on Donald Trump ‘s impeachment trial, saying he didn’t want to talk about his predecessor in the Oval Office anymore.
Biden dismissed Trump with a quick quip during his CNN town hall meeting in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
‘Look – for four years, all that’s been in the news is Trump. The next four years, I want to make sure all the news is the American people. I’m tired of talking about Trump,’ he said.
He refused to talk about Republicans who voted to acquit the former president in his second impeachment trial, refusing to answer if he felt they were ‘cowards’ as Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested.
‘I’m not going to call names out,’ the president said.
President Joe Biden dodged questions on Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, saying he didn’t want to talk about his predecessor in the Oval Office anymore
‘Look – for four years, all that’s been in the news is Trump. The next four years, I want to make sure all the news is the American people. I’m tired of talking about Trump,’ Joe Biden said during a town hall meeting with CNN’s Anderson Cooper
He also declined to talk about possible federal investigations of Trump.
‘Their prosecutorial decisions will be left to the Justice Department, not me,’ Biden said of his Justice Department.
The Biden administration has deliberately avoided questions about Trump and his second impeachment trial, saying their focus is on the coronavirus pandemic and passing relief legislation.
But questions have been raised as to whether Trump could face criminal charges for inciting the insurrection on Capitol Hill on January 6th, which left five dead when MAGA rioters stormed the Capitol building.
Karl Racine, the attorney general for Washington, D.C., has said district prosecutors could charge Trump under local law that criminalizes statements that motivate people to violence.
But the charge would be a low-level misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of six months in jail.
Federal prosecutors in Washington, meanwhile, have charged some 200 Trump supporters with crimes related to the riot, including more serious conspiracy charges. Many of the people charged said they acted in Trump’s name.
But the bar is very high to charge Trump with any crimes related to the riot. There has been no indication that Trump would be charged in the riot though prosecutors have said they are looking at all angles.
Trump could also be sued by victims, though he has some constitutional protections, including if he acted while carrying out the duties of president.
Trump escaped impeachment when not enough Republican senators crossed over to Democrats to vote to convict. Only nine did so and 17 were needed.
Nancy Pelosi crashed the House impeachment manager’s post-trial press conference in an angry rage, lashing out at Mitch McConnell and calling Republicans ‘cowardly’ for voting to stop Donald Trump from being convicted for ‘incitement of insurrection’
McConnell argued in floor remarks after acquitting Trump, that Congress didn’t have the jurisdiction to go after a former president
Speaker Pelosi on Saturday crashed the House impeachment manager’s post-trial press conference to rage against Mitch McConnell and call out Republicans ‘ ‘cowardly’ vote to stop Trump from being convicted for ‘incitement of insurrection’.
‘It had not been my intention to come to this press availability,’ Pelosi said as she spoke to reporters on the fifth and final day of the Senate proceedings. ‘But what we saw today was a cowardly group of Republicans who apparently have no options because they were afraid to defend their job – respect the institution in which they serve.’
‘But why I came over was because I listened to Mitch McConnell,’ Pelosi continued.
McConnell took the Senate floor shortly after Democrats failed to earn the two-thirds votes needed to convict the former president – and the Republican leader argued Congress no longer had jurisdiction over Trump’s actions because is no longer president.
‘Former President Trump’s actions preceding the riot were a disgraceful dereliction of duty,’ said McConnell – although he himself voted to acquit Trump of the charge, saying a former president could be impeached as he was no longer in office.
McConnell, who declined to call back the Senate into session following the House’s January impeachment, also said Trump is not in the clear just yet.
‘President Trump is still liable for everything he did while he was in office,’ McConnell said. ‘As an ordinary citizen unless the statute of limitations has run, still liable for everything he did while he’s in office. Didn’t get away with anything – yet. Yet,’ McConnell said.
He brought up the criminal justice system and civil litigation. ‘Presidents are not immune from being accountable by either one.’
Pelosi angrily recounted the events of January where McConnell, who was still Senate majority leader at the time, refused to accept the impeachment article against Trump before Biden’s inauguration.
‘So for him to get up there and make this indictment against the president and then say, ‘but I can’t vote for it because it’s after the fact.’ The fact that he established! The fact that he established that it could not be delivered after the inauguration.’
When asked about censuring the ex-president, Pelosi snapped that didn’t go nearly far enough.
‘Oh these cowardly senators who couldn’t face up to what the president did and what was at stake for our country are now going to have a chance to give a little slap on the wrist,’ she said as she physically gave herself a slap on the wrist.
‘We censure people for using stationary for the wrong purpose,’ she said, picking up a few pieces of paper laying on the podium and waving them around.
She added: ‘We don’t censure people for inciting insurrections.’
Pelosi suggested Republicans voted to not convict Trump because they ‘can’t get another job’ and want to make sure they are reelected.
‘What is so important about any one of us, what is so important about the political survival about any one of us that is more important than our Constitution that we take an oath to protect and defend?’ she questioned, shaking at times with anger.
The trial has divided Republicans and resulted in Trump letting loose on McConnell on Tuesday for the leader’s criticism of him after voting to acquit him.
Trump called the Republicans’ most senior elected figure ‘dour, sullen’ and urged the party’s senators to end his leadership in a lengthy, racially-loaded and vitriolic statement issued from Mar-a-Lago.
‘The Republican Party can never again be respected or strong with political ‘leaders’ like Sen. Mitch McConnell at its helm,’ Trump began in a letter with his new stationary as the ’45th President of the United States.
‘McConnell’s dedication to business as usual, status quo policies, together with his lack of political insight, wisdom, skill, and personality, has rapidly driven him from Majority Leader to Minority Leader, and it will only get worse,’ he wrote.
Trump, who campaigned on China ‘ripping off’ the U.S., said McConnell had ‘no credibility’ on the issue – and even brought up a racially-loaded attack on his ‘family’s business substantial business holdings.’
McConnell’s wife, Elaine Chao, served as Trump’s Transportation secretary but resigned days after the Capitol riot. Her father James Si-Cheng Chao founded the family-held Foremost Group, which is involved in shipping and international trade, after leaving Taiwan in 1958.
‘Likewise, McConnell has no credibility on China because of his family’s substantial Chinese business holdings,’ wrote Trump. He does nothing on this tremendous economic and military threat.’ Trump’s daughter, Ivanka has her own business relationships in China, and received government approval for patents while her father was in office.
Statement from Florida: Donald Trump – last seen Monday saluting supporters near Mar-a-Lago sent the 622-word denunciation of the top-ranked Republican from his new home. Mitch McConnell voted to acquit Trump on Saturday, then savaged him on the Senate floor – setting off a cycle of vengeance and an open Republican civil war
It’s personal: Trump’s attack on McConnell included a racially-loaded claim that McConnell was compromised by ‘his family’s Chinese business holdings’ – a reference to Elaine Chao, who as well as being the daughter of a Chinese-American businessman whose shipping company has made his family right, was Trump’s transportation secretary until she quit in disgust after the MAGA riot
Trump leveled personal attacks at McConnell amid a brewing civil war within the party – and threatened to support primary challenges to those he considers counter to the MAGA movement. Seven Republicans broke with Trump to join Democrats on impeachment.
Of those who did, several including Richard Burr of North Carolina and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania faced immediate blowback from their state parties at home.
McConnell, 78, was just re-elected. Despite his own vote to acquit, he pointedly sided with House GOP Conference Chair Liz Cheney, who face an effort to strip away her leadership position after she voted to impeach Trump in the House.
‘Mitch is a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack, and if Republican Senators are going to stay with him, they will not win again,’ Trump predicted.
‘He will never do what needs to be done, or what is right for our Country. Where necessary and appropriate, I will back primary rivals who espouse Making America Great Again and our policy of America First. We want brilliant, strong, thoughtful, and compassionate leadership.’
That was a two-edged threat, not directly to McConnell, who will not face a primary contest until 2026, but to any Senate Republicans who get out of line and also a threat to campaign in public for his chosen candidates in open seats.