House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested on Wednesday she will not send articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate until she is satisfied there will be a “fair” trial.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell responded to the possible delay on Thursday, saying the Democrats may be “too afraid to even transmit their shoddy work product to the Senate.”
“That would’ve been our intention,” she said, referring to sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate.
“But we’ll see what happens over there.”
Politico reported, “Senior Democratic aides said the House was ‘very unlikely’ to take the steps necessary to send the articles to the Senate until at least early January, a delay of at least two weeks and perhaps longer.”
As a news conference Thursday on Capitol Hill, Pelosi was asked, “Do you run the risk, as some Republicans have said, of looking like you’re playing games with impeachment if you hold on to these articles for too long?”
Asked if House Democrats risk giving Republicans grounds for criticism if they take too long to deliver articles of impeachment to the Senate, Speaker Nancy Pelosi replies, “Frankly, I don’t care what the Republicans say.” https://t.co/Y1Sj5wefty pic.twitter.com/LOfwJYrnAT
— ABC News (@ABC) December 19, 2019
The speaker replied that Democrats do not know the “arena” they will be facing in a Senate trial, so she is not yet prepared to name the House managers who will argue the case in the Senate.
Until she knows what form the trial will take, she will not take up legislation to fund it and transmit the articles of impeachment.
“Frankly, I don’t care what the Republicans say,” Pelosi said, before shutting down further questioning on impeachment.
Speaking from the Senate floor on Thursday morning, McConnell addressed the possible non-transmission of the articles, saying, “Looks like the prosecutors are getting cold feet in front of the entire country and second-guessing whether they even want to go to trial.”
“They said impeachment was so urgent that it could not even wait for due process but now they’re content to sit on their hands. This is really comical,” he added.
On Tuesday, McConnell responded to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s demand for four new witnesses to appear at a Senate trial, saying the Senate will not do the House’s “homework” for them.
“He wants to volunteer the Senate’s time and energy on a fishing expedition to see whether his own ideas could make Chairman Schiff’s sloppy work more persuasive than Chairman Schiff himself bothered to make it,” McConnell said.
The majority leader further pointed out, “If House Democrats’ case is this deficient, this thin, the answer is not for the judge and jury to cure it over here in the Senate, the answer is the House should not impeach on this basis in the first place.”
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