(February 7, 2021 / JNS) In a letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) late last week, former U.S. President Donald Trump’s impeachment lawyer asked that the trial be suspended during the Jewish Sabbath.
Attorney David Schoen, who is an Orthodox Jew, asked that the trial proceedings, which are scheduled to start on Tuesday, end by 5:24 p.m. on Friday and then resume on Sunday due to his restriction in keeping the Sabbath, reported The New York Times.
“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,” wrote Schoen. “The practices and prohibitions are mandatory for me, however; so, respectfully, I have no choice but to make this request.”
In a statement also reported by the Times, Justin Goodman, a spokesman for Schumer, who is also Jewish, said: “We respect their request, and of course, will accommodate it.”
The request will put a kink in the plans of those who had hoped for a speedy Senate trial—one that would continue through Saturday and end Sunday before a week-long federal holiday that recognizes Presidents’ Day, scheduled for the Senate, begins on Monday, Feb. 15.
It will also cause a change in Senate rules that stipulate that impeachment trials should run Monday through Saturday and break on Sunday, rules that will already have been breached by starting the current trial on Tuesday.
Schoen proposed that the trial resume instead on Sunday afternoon.
“While I would not, of course, want to in any way interfere with anyone’s religious observance on Sunday, perhaps since the proceedings do not commence each day until the afternoon, Sunday proceedings will not affect anyone else’s religious practice (e.g., church attendance),” he wrote.
Trump is charged with inciting an insurrection that resulted in his supporters storming the Capitol Building on Jan. 6.
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