Nancy Pelosi Says Impeachment Will Be Sent to the Senate 'Soon'


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she will “soon” transmit the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, signaling she might be ready to yield in her standoff with Senate Republicans.

The California Democrat faces mounting pressure from Republicans and some Democrats to quit delaying the president’s trial in the Senate, three weeks after the House Democrats impeached Trump on charges of abuse and obstruction.

Republicans say Democrats are embarrassed about their partisan vote to impeach the president, while Pelosi claims Democrats are ‘’proud” of upholding the Constitution.

Many on Capitol Hill expect the Senate impeachment trial to begin next week.

“I’ll send them over when I’m ready. That will probably be soon,” Pelosi told reporters at the Capitol on Thursday, noting she is not postponing it “indefinitely.”

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The House impeached Trump in December on the charge that he abused the power of his office by pressuring Ukraine’s new leader to investigate possible corruption involving Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, using as leverage $400 million in military assistance for the U.S. ally.

While he was vice president, Biden pressured Ukraine to fire a prosecutor who had investigated Burisma Holdings, an energy company where Biden’s son Hunter served on the board.

The House Democrats also hit Trump with an additional charge of obstruction of Congress for not cooperating with their investigation.

Trump insists he did nothing wrong.

Do you think Pelosi has acted properly in refusing to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate?

Pelosi’s delay in sending the articles of impeachment over for a Senate trial has led to a standoff with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell over what would be the third impeachment trial in the nation’s history.

The Kentucky Republican said that if Pelosi and House Democrats are “too embarrassed” to send the articles of impeachment, the Senate will simply move on next week to other business.

“They do not get to trap our entire country into an unending groundhog day of impeachment without resolution,” McConnell said.

He told GOP senators at a lunchtime meeting to expect the trial next week, according to two people familiar with his remarks. The people requested anonymity to discuss the private meeting.

At the same time, McConnell signed on to a resolution from Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri to allow for the dismissal of articles of impeachment if the House doesn’t transmit them in 25 days. That change to Senate rules appears unlikely to happen before Pelosi transmits the articles.

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In the weeks since Trump was impeached, Democrats have focused on what they claim is new evidence about Trump’s effort to pressure Ukraine to investigate Biden, and they pushed the Senate to consider new testimony, including from former White House national security adviser John Bolton.

Republicans, however, are focused on a speedy trial under the same rules that were used in the impeachment of President Bill Clinton in 1999.

Republicans have the leverage, with a slim 53-47 Senate majority, as McConnell rebuffs the Democratic demands for testimony and documents. But Democrats are using the delay in an attempt to sow public doubt about the fairness of the process.

“When we say fair trial, we mean facts, we mean witnesses, we mean documents,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., promising votes ahead. “Every single one of us, in this Senate, will have to have to take a stand. How do my Republican friends want the American people, their constituents and history to remember them?”

Trump weighed in from the White House suggesting that he, too, would like more witnesses at trial. They include Joe and Hunter Biden as well as the government whistleblower whose complaint about the president’s July 25, 2019, phone call with Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky sparked the impeachment investigation.

In the call, the president asked his counterpart to open an investigation into the Bidens, saying, “Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution, so if you can look into it. … It sounds horrible to me.”

Trump suggested that his administration would continue to block Bolton or others from the administration from appearing before senators. Many of those officials have defied congressional subpoenas for their testimony.

“When we start allowing national security advisers to just go up and say whatever they want to say, we can’t do that,” the president said during an event with building contractors. “So we have to protect presidential privilege for me, but for future presidents. That’s very important.”

Bolton, one of four witnesses that Democrats have requested, said this week that he would testify if subpoenaed.

McConnell has said from the start he is looking to model Trump’s trial on the last time the Senate convened as the court of impeachment, for Clinton, and there will be “no haggling” with House Democrats over Senate procedures.

“There will be no unfair new rulebook written solely for President Trump,” the majority leader said Thursday.

McConnell, who met with Trump late Wednesday at the White House, suggested last month it would be “fine with me” if the House never sent the articles. More recently, he has drawn on the Constitution’s intent for the Senate to have the ultimate say on matters of impeachment. He scoffed that Pelosi has ‘’managed to do the impossible” by uniting Democrats and Republicans who want the trial to begin.

Some Democrats have been showing increased anxiety over the delay as Americans remain divided over Trump’s impeachment.

The delay on impeachment has also upended the political calendar, with the weekslong trial now expected to bump into presidential nominating contests, which begin in early February. Several Democratic senators are running for the party’s nomination.

One 2020 hopeful, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, told The Associated Press’s Ground Game podcast that a looming impeachment trial and other pressing issues in Washington could deal a “big, big blow” to his presidential campaign by keeping him away from Iowa in the final weeks before the Feb. 3 caucuses.

As Pelosi dashed into a morning meeting at the Capitol, she was asked if she had any concerns about losing support from Democrats for her strategy. She told reporters: “No.”

“I know exactly when” to send the impeachment articles over, Pelosi said. “I won’t be telling you right now.”

Pelosi is seeking what she says she wanted from the start — “to see the arena” and “terms of the engagement” that McConnell will use for the trial — before sending her House managers to present the articles of impeachment in the Senate.

She has yet to choose the managers, a source of political intrigue as many lawmakers want the high-profile job.

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

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