The campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) announced that the Democratic presidential candidate has canceled a rally in Iowa on Jan. 22 due to his obligations to the Senate impeachment trial, which began in earnest on Jan. 21.
“Sen. Sanders will not be able to attend tomorrow’s rally due to the impeachment schedule in the U.S. Senate,” the campaign said in a statement.
But it noted that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) “will host campaign events in Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, and Ames on Friday and Saturday.” On Jan. 25, Sanders will join Ocasio-Cortez at the Ames City Auditorium in Iowa, according to a campaign release.
The impeachment proceedings are expected to stretch for hours each day, going from Monday through Saturday, through at least the end of January.
The timing of the impeachment trial is critical for several senators, including Sanders, as the Iowa caucuses are scheduled for Feb. 3, and the New Hampshire primary is eight days later. Sanders and others have lamented that they won’t able to be on the ground to campaign in Iowa.
“I would rather be in Iowa today. There’s a caucus there in two-and-a-half 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,” Sanders told The Hill after the senators were sworn in on Jan. 16 for the trial.
The trial could be seen as a boon for former Vice President Joe Biden, one of the Democratic front runners for the past year, because he doesn’t have to attend it.
Sanders, who raised more than $34 million in the final quarter, said during an interview on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” earlier this month that he would use a private jet to campaign during the Senate trial.
His campaign adviser Jeff Weaver elaborated on the development to NBC News: “They’re not going to be meeting at night [for the trial], so we can obviously fly from D.C. to states and hold events in the evening and fly back, you know, so he can be back in the morning to do his work in the Senate.”
The campaign of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a fellow Senate juror, announced that she’ll return to Iowa and will make an appearance in Cedar Rapids with TV host Jonathan Van Ness. However, the campaign cautioned supporters with a note: “This schedule is subject to change depending on the schedule for impeachment in the U.S. Senate.”