18:05 GMT03 March 2021
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    Among religious Jews, Saturday is considered the seventh day of the week, and treated as a holy day of rest, when various activities – ranging from mental and menial labour, to driving a car or even using electricity – are forbidden. The degree of observance of the Sabbath depends on the denomination of Judaism adhered to.

    Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s office has agreed to accommodate Trump impeachment attorney David Schoen following his request to pause the Senate impeachment trial if it continues into Saturdays.

    “We respect their request and of course will accommodate it. Conversations with the relevant parties about the structure of the trial continue,” Justin Goodman, a spokesman for Schumer, said in a statement Saturday night.

    Earlier, Schoen sent letters to Schumer, Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy, president pro tempore of the Senate, asking for the trial to be put on hold if it could not be wrapped up by 5:24 pm on Friday (the start of Sabbath), before picking up again Sunday(s).

    “I apologise for the inconvenience my request that impeachment proceedings not be conducted during the Jewish Sabbath undoubtedly will cause other people involved in the proceedings. The practices and prohibitions are mandatory for me, however; so, respectfully, I have no choice but to make this request,” the attorney wrote in the letter, according to the New York Times.

    Trials and Tribulations

    Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial – the first such trial to be held after a president’s departure from office, will begin on Monday. The Republican is the first president in US history to have been impeached twice, with the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives censuring him last month for "incitement of insurrection" in the wake of the 6 January storming of the Capitol by his supporters during the formal certification of Joe Biden’s presidential victory. 

    Trump was handily acquitted by the Senate during his first impeachment trial, which took place between 16 January and 5 February 2020. In that trial, the Senate acquitted him on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress over his alleged attempts to illegally pressure the Ukrainian government to reopen an investigation into the alleged pay-to-play corruption of the Biden family in the Eastern European country between 2014 and 2019.

    The former president is widely expected to be acquitted again by the Senate, since a conviction would require a two-thirds majority of senators, which is presently split 50/50 between Democrats and Republicans. In last year’s impeachment trial, senators voted 52 to 48 and 53 to 47 to find Trump not guilty of the two charges against him, respectively.

    Democrats are using impeachment as one of the means to prevent Trump for making another run for the presidency in 2024. Along with the impeachment trial, some Democrats are seeking to keep Trump out of politics by using the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, which prohibits any person who “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” or gave “aid or comfort” to US enemies from holding public office. Trump’s staff have broadly dismissed the "insurrection" allegations against him, pointing to the president’s (now deleted) tweets urging supporters to “stay peaceful” and “go home” during the 6 January unrest.


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