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Trump impeachment attorney withdraws request to pause trial Friday and Saturday for Shabbat

Attorney David Schoen says the trial should proceed on those days without him

Updated: February 9, 2021 - 12:06pm

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An attorney representing former President Donald in the Senate impeachment trial has withdrawn a request that proceedings be paused during the Jewish sabbath, which lasts from Friday evening to Saturday night.

The attorney, David Schoen, an orthodox Jew, initially had written to Sens. Pat Leahy, Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell, informing them of his observance. The senators responded by saying they would pause the trial on Friday afternoon and pick it up again when shabbat ended. 

Leahy, as the longest serving senator now in the chamber will preside over the trial. Schumer and McConnell are the respective Senate Democratic and Republican leaders.

On Monday evening, Schoen wrote to the senators thanking them for the accommodation but informing them that they should proceed on with the trial Friday evening into Saturday without his presence.

On Tuesday morning, it was unclear whether the trial will be held Saturday. 

"I very much appreciated your decision; but I remained concerned about the delay in the proceedings in a process that I recognize is important to bring a conclusion for all involved and for the country," Schoen wrote.

"I will not participate during the Sabbath; but the role I would have played will be fully covered to the satisfaction of the defense team," he continued.