Nancy Pelosi says she won’t send articles of impeachment to the Senate until Republicans promise a ‘fair’ trial as she slams Mitch McConnell for saying he is ‘not an impartial juror’
- Nancy Pelosi dragged the Trump impeachment across the finish line Wednesday
- Now the process moves to a U.S. Senate trial but Pelosi said she’s in no hurry
- She blasted Senate leader Mitch McConnell for saying he’s not an ‘impartial’ juror, and declared she won’t hand him the baton without a pledge of ‘fairness’
- Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is pushing for witness subpoenas that Republicans don’t want to agree to
- Impeachment trial can’t start until Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy choose ‘managers’ to carry the House’s case to the Senate
Nancy Pelosi presided Wednesday night over the third successful impeachment of a U.S. president, but she told reporters after adjourning the House of Representatives that she’s in no hurry to hand the U.S. Senate the baton for a trial.
Senators in the Republican-led upper chamber of Congress own the next chapter of the Donald Trump impeachment saga, a trial where Chief Justice John Roberts will preside. An unlikely two-thirds supermajority is required to convict the president and remove him from office.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, expects to helm hearings that exonerate Trump. But Pelosi, a California Democrat, will decide when he can begin. The process kicks off when impeachment ‘managers,’ duos chosen by both parties, present the Senate with the impeachment articles the House has passed.
Pelosi said Wednesday night that she won’t be ready to let go of the process until McConnell demonstrates the trial will be ‘fair’—and she’s nowhere near convinced yet.
‘We have legislation approved by the Rules Committee that will enable us to decide how we send over the articles of impeachment,’ Pelosi said. ‘We cannot name managers until we see what the process is on the Senate side.’
‘So far we haven’t seen anything that looks fair to us,’ she warned. ‘So hopefully it will be fairer. And when see what that is, we’ll send our managers.’
‘Let me tell you what I don’t consider a fair trial,’ Pelosi said as she read from a piece of paper an aide handed her.
‘This is what I don’t consider a fair trial, that Leader McConnell has stated that he’s not an impartial juror, that he’s going to take his “cues” from the White House, and he is working in total coordination with the White House counsel’s office.’
In Michigan, a sweat-glowing Trump said during a raucous campaign rally that he expects no drama.
‘The Republican Party has never been so affronted, but they’ve never been so united as they are right now, ever. Never,’ the president said.
‘And I know the senators and they’re great guys. And women too. We have some great women, we have great guys, they’re great people. They love this counry. They’re going to do the right thing.’
‘Americans will show up by the tens of millions next year to vote Pelosi the hell out of office,’ Trump boasted, calling for the restoration of a Republican House majority.
In theory Pelosi could sit on the paperwork indefinitely, leaving Trump in constitutional purgatory while blaming Senate Republicans for dooming the process with partisanship.
In the meantime, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is pressing McConnell for permission to call a list of witnesses who Democrats want to hear from.
House Democrats denied Republicans the ability to call witnesses of their choice in Intelligence and Judiciary Committee hearings during the impeachment process.
Pelosi’s gambit could be resolved once Schumer has exhausted his leverage.
‘We have done what we set out to do,’ she said, adding that ‘right now, the president is impeached.’
‘We’ll see what happens over there.’