“I’m just anxious to see what my Republican friends do,” Biden told reporters outside the White House. “If they stand up.”
Biden said he was not planning to speak with any Republican senators to convey what he thinks they should do.
As usual since Biden entered office, the press was sent away after he answered two questions. Before the queries, he had chatted with reporters about Valentine’s Day.
A day prior, Biden told reporters inside the Oval Office that he guessed “some minds may be changed” during the trial.
Unless 67 senators vote to convict Trump, he will be acquitted. Thirty-five Republicans have indicated or pledged to vote to acquit, while a mix of several dozen senators from both parties have said they would wait to hear what was presented during the trial to decide.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki later told reporters: “He was not intending to give a projection or a prediction, but was just giving a very human and emotional response to what many people did, many people felt, I should say, when they watched the video.”
Psaki said earlier this week that “Joe Biden is the President; he’s not a pundit.” She added, “He’s not going to opine on the back-and-forth arguments, nor is he watching them, that are taking place in the Senate.”
But on Thursday, after managers presented video footage of Jan. 6, Psaki said Biden “was impacted by the video as a human being, and he is confident in the role that the impeachment managers and others will play.”
Trump’s lawyers were scheduled to mount their defense on Friday, after impeachment managers spent several days laying out their case.
Trump was impeached for incitement of insurrection. Democrats claim he sparked the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol with his repeated allegations of election fraud and his exhortations to his supporters to “fight like hell.”
Defenders note Trump told supporters to stay peaceful and that violence started at the Capitol before he stopped speaking about two miles away.
A vote is expected to take place in the next several days.
If Trump is convicted, senators could choose to bar him from holding office again. Top Democrats have said preventing him from running in 2024 is a key concern.