President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE on Friday accused Democrats of deliberately diminishing Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE’s (I-Vt.) chances of winning the party’s presidential nomination by keeping him off the campaign trail to serve as a juror in the Senate impeachment trial.
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The president in a pair of tweets sought to exploit potential frustration among Democrats by echoing a theory among some lawmakers that Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names Black lawmakers unveil bill to remove Confederate statues from Capitol Pelosi: Georgia primary ‘disgrace’ could preview an election debacle in November MORE (D-Calif.) was aiding the 2020 candidacy of former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE by timing impeachment votes to keep Sanders and other candidates in Washington as the Iowa caucuses approach.
“They are rigging the election again against Bernie Sanders, just like last time, only even more obviously,” Trump tweeted. “They are bringing him out of so important Iowa in order that, as a Senator, he sit through the Impeachment Hoax Trial.”
“Crazy Nancy thereby gives the strong edge to Sleepy Joe Biden, and Bernie is shut out again,” he continued.
….Joe Biden, and Bernie is shut out again. Very unfair, but that’s the way the Democrats play the game. Anyway, it’s a lot of fun to watch!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 17, 2020
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyHouse Republicans hopeful about bipartisan path forward on police reform legislation Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names McConnell: States should make decision on Confederate statues MORE (R-Calif.) and other lawmakers have suggested that Pelosi is hindering senators running for president by withholding impeachment articles from the Senate until earlier this week, during a critical stretch before the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary.
Sanders and Democratic Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names MORE (Mass.), Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Democrats demand Republican leaders examine election challenges after Georgia voting chaos Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk MORE (Minn.) and Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetSome realistic solutions for income inequality Democratic senators kneel during moment of silence for George Floyd 21 senators urge Pentagon against military use to curb nationwide protests MORE (Colo.) are all running for president but will be jurors in the impeachment trial, which will begin in earnest on Tuesday.
Pelosi has repeatedly denied politics were a factor when considering impeachment matters, and she and other Democrats have said they held onto the articles to secure a more fair trial in the Senate.
Sanders, who is at or near the top of most polls in the Democratic primary, conceded Thursday he is worried about losing valuable time on the campaign trail while he sits through an impeachment trial that could last for weeks.
“I would rather be in Iowa today. There’s a caucus there in 2 1/2 weeks. I’d rather be in New Hampshire and Nevada and so forth. But I swore a constitutional oath as a United States senator to do my job and I’m here to do my job,” he said.
The Iowa caucuses are scheduled for Feb. 3. The New Hampshire primary is eight days later, on Feb. 11.