WASHINGTON, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Joe Biden said on Friday he is "just anxious" to see if Republican senators would "stand up" during the Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump.
"I'm just anxious to see what my Republican friends do -- if they stand up," Biden said.
Trump's defense team, led by attorneys Bruce Castor and David Schoen, will begin their opening arguments at noon local time on Friday, following two days of arguments by Democratic House impeachment managers prosecuting the case.
Trump's lawyers are expected to argue that there's no link between Trump's rhetoric and the Jan. 6 Capitol riot leaving five people dead, including a Capitol police officer.
"They have not in any way tied it to Donald Trump," Schoen said earlier this month.
Trump's legal team has also made clear the three central arguments of their case: The trial is unconstitutional because Trump is no longer in office, the House rushed the impeachment process and Trump's remarks are protected by the First Amendment.
In their arguments, House impeachment managers, using security footage of the riot and quoting rioters defending their actions by saying Trump invited them, argued that it was Trump who called his followers to Washington, D.C., to fight for a "stolen" election, failed to act during the riot and showed no remorse afterwards.
Trump was impeached on Jan. 13 by the Democrat-led House with the charge of inciting insurrection leading to the Capitol riot which interrupted Congress' electoral vote count of President Joe Biden's victory.
A two-thirds majority of the currently evenly split Senate is required for conviction. However, more than a third of the chamber, all Republicans, have twice voted that the impeachment trial is unconstitutional since Trump now stepped down and is a private citizen, suggesting the former president will be acquitted. Enditem