Trump Lawyer David Schoen Asks To Pause Impeachment Trial If It Runs Into Shabbos

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Democrats and Republicans eager to tidily conclude former President Donald J. Trump’s impeachment trial within a week may have a fresh obstacle in front of them: the biblical commandment to keep the Jewish Sabbath.

One of the lead defense lawyers for Mr. Trump has informed Senate leaders that he is an observant Jew who strictly adheres to the commandment against working on the Sabbath, and thus would be unable to participate in any proceeding that stretched past sundown on Friday or met on Saturday.

In a letter obtained by The New York Times, the lawyer, David Schoen, asked that the trial be suspended if it was not finished by the beginning of the Sabbath at 5:24 p.m. on Friday, and that it not reconvene until Sunday.

“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,” Mr. Schoen said in the letter. “The practices and prohibitions are mandatory for me, however; so, respectfully, I have no choice but to make this request.”

The letter was sent to Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the majority leader; Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the minority leader; and Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont, who as president pro tempore is presiding over the trial.

In a statement Saturday evening, a spokesman for Mr. Schumer said an allowance would be made for Mr. Schoen, but did not elaborate on how.

“We respect their request and of course will accommodate it,” said the spokesman, Justin Goodman. “Conversations with the relevant parties about the structure of the trial continue.”

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10 COMMENTS

  1. With such a צדיק and זכות, especially on day we read the 4th Commandment, השם shall definitely bestow His manifold Benedictions on President Donald Trump for having given פרנסה to a bonafide שומר-שבת, and have this fake trial over long before קבלת שבת and have President Donald Trump back in the Oval Office at Noon 1/20/2025.

  2. What about tosefes Shabbos; and also his being able to get to a place where he can leave all his muktzeh in an office or a locker, and get out of surveillenced areas with cameras and the like and to within a walking distance to daven mincha before shikiah and to get home afterward?

    Else, the timeframe he gave is unrealistic and may put him in a tight spot. Also, he seemed to only have mentioned the particular time for this coming week–it would have been better to stipulate the time as say, ‘two hours before sunset’ in case the trial might (but hopefully not) be carried over to a future Friday.

  3. Presumably, Schumer will tell him to get a heter to be mechallel shabbos from the same Rav who told Kushner and Ivanka it was OK to drive to the Inaugural Balls back in 2017.

  4. Wow, amazing, we have alot to learn from this guy. He doesn’t look for heterim to get a few more dollars, in this zchus I hope trump wins, shame on shumer that he didn’t ask for this also

  5. So Schumer announced this AM they would adjourn on Friday pm to honor Schoen’s request. The Senate is currently scheduled to leave town that weekend and not be in session for the whole week. If they don’t finish on Friday, it will mean the Dems will probably drag out their case to keep the images of Trump’s crazy rants inciting the riots in public view for another week w/o giving Trump’s lawyers a chance to put on their rebuttal.