US President Joe Biden on Monday told CNN that he does not believe there will be enough Senate Republican votes to convict Donald Trump after the latter was impeached in the House for a second time.
"I think it has to happen", Biden told CNN's Kaitlan Collins in a hallway interview, referring to Trump's impeachment trial and adding that there would be "a worse effect if it didn't happen."
The president reportedly suggested that the outcome would be different if Trump had six months left in office, but acknowledged that it was unlikely that 17 GOP Senators will vote to convict Biden's predecessor.
"The Senate has changed since I was there, but it hasn't changed that much," Biden noted.
On Monday evening, impeachment article was delivered to the Senate floor, formally triggering Trump's second impeachment trial in the Senate. It would take 67 Senators to convict Trump in the upper house.
Chief Justice John Roberts, who presided during Trump's first impeachment, will not be doing so this time, making way for Senator Patrick Leahy, as the US Constitution says that a chief justice must preside when an incumbent president is being impeached, which Trump is no longer.
Earlier, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said that the trial would begin on the week of 8 February. Many observers appear to agree with Biden, saying that chances of Trump's conviction in the Senate are low.
The February Senate impeachment trial will be historic as Trump is the first US president to be impeached twice and due to a Senate trial taking place after he exited the White House. Earlier in 2019, Trump was impeached for abuse of power and obstruction of justice, and the Senate later chose not to remove him from office.
Accused of "incitement of insurrection" during the deadly 6 January Capitol riot, Trump denied responsibility and called his second impeachment "a hoax" and "a continuation of the witch hunt".