President-elect Joe Biden has repeatedly said it’s up to the Congress to decide how to sanction President Trump for his role in instigating the violent attack on the Capitol, but CNN has learned that his advisers are working intently behind the scenes with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats in hopes of finding a middle ground that can keep his new administration from becoming bogged down in impeachment proceedings.
While Biden has made clear that he will not stand in the way of the House moving forward with article of impeachment, officials told CNN that his advisers are recommending other solutions to punish Trump without hijacking the first 100 days of Biden’s presidency.
One of the ideas being discussed was floated Sunday by Rep. James Clyburn, who said Pelosi could wait to send the article of impeachment to the Senate until the economic relief package is passed and Biden’s top nominees are confirmed.
Advisers to Biden said other ideas are also under discussion this weekend, including censuring Trump in a move that may be able to draw more bipartisan support than impeachment could. One thing not being discussed is to do nothing at all and allow the final days of the Trump presidency to expire without punishment from Congress.
“The train has left the station on impeachment,” an official close to Biden said. “Trying to stop it would not only fail, but put Biden on the wrong foot with progressives and most Democrats across the party.”
Conversations between Biden and Pelosi and many of their respective advisers have taken place throughout the weekend. Biden is poised to roll out more specifics of his economic relief package this week in Wilmington, where aides say he will implore Congress to act swiftly to pass the bill as one of the first acts of his presidency.
“That bill cannot and should not be delayed because of a Senate impeachment trial,” an official close to Biden said.