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Patrick Semansky/AP
Patrick Semansky/AP

One Biden administration official is downplaying the prospects of an extended impeachment trial impeding President Biden’s legislative agenda — suggesting the trial itself wouldn’t continue on the Senate floor as witnesses are deposed, which would allow for legislative business like the Covid-19 relief package to progress through as hoped. 

The official said they remain hopeful for passage of Covid-19 relief by mid-March, when unemployment benefits are set to expire. And they continue to believe the Senate can both conduct an impeachment trial and consider legislation at the same time. 

Still, the prolonging of the trial will mean former President Trump remains the center of attention for a while longer at a moment at least some White House aides had hoped he would be placed in the rear view mirror. Officials had said they hoped for a quick trial in order to put a final end to the Trump era. 

At the very least, the continued fixation on Trump and his actions will crowd out what had been Biden’s planned debut trips into the country to advance his agenda next week, including his CNN town hall on Tuesday and a tour of the Pfizer plant in Michigan on Thursday. 

CNN also reached out to Vice President Kamala Harris’s office for reaction, and an official said, “The Vice President’s office referred all questions to the Senate, as this is a senate procedural question on witnesses and timing.” 

cnn.it 2021-02-13 17:37:43

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