“We respect your request and will of course consider you. Discussions with the relevant parties about the structure of the process are ongoing,” said Justin Goodman, a spokesman for Schumer.
The New York Times reported for the first time on the development. The letter from Attorney David Schoen received from The Times asked that the trial, which is due to begin Tuesday, be paused if it is not completed by the beginning of the Sabbath on Friday at 5.24 p.m. and then reassembled on Sunday.
There would have to be an agreement between the senators to hold the trial on a Sunday.
“I apologize for the inconvenience that my request not to conduct impeachment proceedings during the Jewish Sabbath will undoubtedly result in other people being involved in the process,” Schön said in the letter received from the Times. “However, the practices and prohibitions are mandatory for me. So I respectfully have no choice but to make this request.”
Schön’s letter was sent to Schumer and the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, and to Patrick J. Leahy, Democratic Senator, the interim Senate president who will lead the trial.
The final outcome of the trial doesn’t seem to be in doubt: Trump will likely be acquitted for the second time by the Senate, falling well below two-thirds of the votes required for a conviction.
Senators from both parties have urged a speedy trial. Democrats are keen to move President Joe Biden’s agenda forward, including passing a comprehensive aid package to Covid-19 and confirming his cabinet candidates.