Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s office said Saturday the Senate will accommodate a request from one of former President Donald Trump’s impeachment attorneys to halt Trump’s impeachment trial during the Jewish Sabbath.
“We respect their request and of course will accommodate it. Conversations with the relevant parties about the structure of the trial continue,” said Justin Goodman, a spokesman for Schumer.
Lawyer David Schoen asked that the trial, which is set to begin on Tuesday, be temporarily put on hold if it is not finished by the beginning of the Sabbath on Friday at 5:24 pm ET and then reconvene on Sunday. There would need to be an agreement among senators to hold the trial on a Sunday.
“I apologize for the inconvenience my request that impeachment proceedings not be conducted during the Jewish Sabbath undoubtedly will cause other people involved in the proceedings,” Schoen said in the letter. “The practices and prohibitions are mandatory for me, however; so, respectfully, I have no choice but to make this request.”
The New York Times was first to report on the development and the letter, which was sent to Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, as well as to Democratic Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, the president pro tempore of the Senate who will preside over the trial.
The ultimate outcome of the trial does not appear to be in doubt: Trump is likely to be acquitted by the Senate for the second time, falling well short of the two-thirds votes needed for conviction.
Senators in both parties have been urging a speedy trial, with Democrats eager to advance President Joe Biden’s agenda, including passing a sweeping Covid-19 relief package, and to confirm his Cabinet nominees.