House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) refused to specify when shed submit two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate, even as a growing number of lawmakers from her own party said she should transmit the articles to the upper chamber.
“You all keep asking me the same question, I keep giving you the same answer,” Pelosi told reporters during her weekly press briefing on Jan. 9. “As I said right from the start: We need to see the arena in which were sending our managers. Is that too much to ask?”
“Im not holding them indefinitely. Ill send them over when Im ready. And that will probably be soon.”
At another point, Pelosi said, “We may send them over. Im not responsible to Mitch McConnell or anybody else except for my members.”
Pelosi claimed that some Republican senators want to dismiss the case without hearing arguments from the prosecution and defense. It wasnt clear who she was referring to.
“We would have hoped, like with the Clinton process, that there would have been a bipartisan resolution determining how to proceed,” she said, adding that the impeachment of Trump is not like the impeachment of Clinton, who was ultimately acquitted by the Senate.
“At some point, we would hope that we would see from them what the terms of engagement will be. We are ready. We are proud of our defense of the Constitution of the United States.”
Democrats, who control the House, impeached Trump last month in a partisan vote, with no Republicans voting for it and a handful of Democrats breaking with their party to vote against one or both articles; one Democrat voted “present” on both articles. Republicans have a 53–47 majority in the Senate, where a supermajority is required to convict a president and remove him from office. Only a simple majority is required for acquittal.
Pelosi told reporters before the press conference, about the timeline for sending the articles to the Senate, “I know exactly when, but I wont be telling you right now.” She read from a piece of paper at the press briefing, listing new evidence since Trump was impeached that she said bolstered Democrats impeachment case.
Earlier on Jan. 9, at least two House Democrats publicly called for the articles to be transmitted to the Senate.
“I think it was perfectly advisable for the Speaker to try to leverage that to get a better deal. At this point, it doesnt look like thats going to happen,” Armed Services Chairman Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) said.
“It is time to send the impeachment to the Senate and let Mitch McConnell be responsible for the fairness of the trial.”
Smith later said he “misspoke” and supported Pelosi holding onto the articles longer if she thought that was best.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has dismissed notions that Pelosi withholding the articles could influence how the Senate conducts the impeachment trial. He announced this week that Republicans had enough votes to approve rules used in the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton, and told lawmakers Jan. 8 that there wouldnt be any “haggling with the House” over Senate rules.
“We will not cede our authority to try this impeachment,” he said. “The House Democrats turn is over. The Senate has made its decision.”
On the Senate floor on Jan. 9 prior to Pelosis press conference, McConnell read a quote from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), one of multiple Senate Democrats who said this week the articles should be sent to the Senate.
“The Speaker of the House has done the impossible,” McConnell said. “The Senate might not agree on much, but it appears most of us still recognize a threat to our institution when we see one.”
McConnell also said that the Senate “will move forward next week with the business of our people,” or its legislative agenda, if it doesnt get the articles to start a trial.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said that Pelosi “has done just the right thing,” claiming the withholding of Read More – Source