JOE Biden has hinted that he doesn't expect Donald Trump to be convicted at his upcoming Senate trial but said that it "has to happen".
It comes after House prosecutors last night walked the article of impeachment against Trump to the Senate, with a trial now expected to begin within weeks.
The House voted to impeach Trump earlier this month over his alleged role in inciting the riots at the US Capitol on January 6.
The incident saw supporters of the former president storm the building in an attempt to stop the certification of November's election result ahead of Joe Biden's inauguration.
It came just hours after a Trump told a rally nearby in Washington, DC: "You'll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong."
Asked about the impeachment by a CNN reporter last night, President Biden indicated that he didn't expect the move to gain the necessary support from members of the Republican Party to secure a conviction.
"The Senate has changed since I was there, but it hasn't changed that much," he said.
Biden served as a senator for Delaware between 1973 to 2009, when he took up the post of vice president under Barack Obama.
He also said that he thought the impeachment and trial "has to happen" and that the precedent set if Trump was not held accountable would produce a "worse effect".
The article of impeachment against Trump – equivalent to a charge in a criminal trial – charged him with "incitement of insurrection".
Earlier this month, he became the first president ever to be impeached twice, having been impeached last year over allegations that he solicited foreign interference to improve his chances of victory in November's election.
His first trial saw him acquitted after the articles of impeachment failed to garner the two-thirds majority support necessary for conviction.
The Democrats and Republicans currently control 50 seats each in the Senate, meaning at least 17 Republicans would have to vote with all 50 Democrats in order for Trump to be convicted.
A total of 27 Republicans have so far said they won't back the move, according to a tally by the New York Times.
Former Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, who led the Republicans in voting against conviction during Trump's first trial, has said he remains undecided about how he will vote.
He has reportedly told colleagues that he believes Trump committed impeachable offences on January 6, and in a statement to the New York Times said: “I have not made a final decision on how I will vote and I intend to listen to the legal arguments when they are presented to the Senate.”
A spokesperson for Mitt Romney, the only Republican senator to vote for conviction during Trump's first trial, said he would "consider all of the facts and evidence presented".
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