Trump's top lawyer asks to delay the impeachment trial if it's not finished by the beginning of Sabbath

Trump's top lawyer asks to delay the impeachment trial if it's not finished by the beginning of Sabbath
The US Capitol, as seen from the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill.AP Photo/Patrick Semansky
  • Trump's top defense lawyer asked the Senate to suspend the impeachment trial during the Sabbath.
  • In a letter to Senate leaders, David Schoen said he is a religious Jew who observes the Sabbath.
  • The office for Senator Chuck Schumer said it "respects" the request and will "accommodate it."

One of Former President Trump's impeachment lawyers has asked for the Senate trial to be paused in the likelihood that it will not be finished by the beginning of the Jewish Sabbath, the New York Times reported Saturday.

In a letter sent to Senate leaders this week, attorney David Schoen said that he is an observant Jew who strictly adheres to the commandment against working on the seventh day of the week (Saturday).

The Jewish Sabbath begins past sundown on Friday and runs through Saturday. Schoen is an Orthodox Jew who is attached to the congregation Beth Jacob in Atlanta, Georgia.

Trump's lawyers are due to appear in the Senate early this week after the former president was charged with one count of inciting the Capitol insurrection on January 6, which led to the deaths of five people, including a police officer.

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In a letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Schoen wrote: "I apologize for the inconvenience my request that impeachment proceedings not be conducted during the Jewish Sabbath undoubtedly will cause other people involved in the proceedings."

"The practices and prohibitions are mandatory for me, however; so, respectfully, I have no choice but to make this request," he added.

The letter, obtained by the Times, was also addressed to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Patrick J. Leahy, who presides over the trial.

Schumer's office responded to the request early on Sunday, with a spokesman telling CNN: "We respect their request and of course will accommodate it. Conversations with the relevant parties about the structure of the trial continue."

The trial is due to start on Tuesday and is expected to take several days, the Times reported. It is unclear what will happen if it does run into the weekend.


If senators moved to fast-track the trial to ensure it was finished by sundown Friday, it would be the speediest presidential impeachment trial in US history.

Trump adviser and spokesman Jason Miller previously confirmed to Insider that "the President will not testify in an unconstitutional proceeding."