House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Friday that she will take steps next week to send impeachment articles to the Senate, after delaying the process since last month in a bid to extract favorable terms for a trial.
“I have asked Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler to be prepared to bring to the Floor next week a resolution to appoint managers and transmit articles of impeachment to the Senate. I will be consulting with you at our Tuesday House Democratic Caucus meeting on how we proceed further,” Pelosi, D-Calif., wrote in a letter to colleagues.
The decision to release the articles came as fellow Democrats in recent days had started to voice frustration and impatience with the speaker's approach. They stressed the urgency with which impeachment was treated at the end of 2019 and questioned why the House would then delay a trial by using articles as leverage.
Asked about Pelosi's decision to move forward on Friday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said: “About time.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signaled to congressional Democrats late Tuesday that she plans to continue to hold on to articles of impeachment against President Trump -- for now -- demanding that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell first release the resolution outlining the terms for a Senate trial.
In a letter to colleagues, Pelosi, D-Calif., indicated she would not transmit impeachment articles to the Senate until McConnell moves to “immediately publish” the resolution while accusing him of making “misleading claims” about past impeachment processes to “justify” Republican plans.
Pelosi suggested the House could appoint impeachment "managers" and transmit the articles once McConnell releases the resolution. Meanwhile, McConnell said Tuesday that Republicans “have the votes” to begin an impeachment trial, even without an agreement on potential Democrat-sought witnesses—once the chamber receives the articles from the House. McConnell also said Tuesday that GOP leadership would share the resolution to govern the trial, once it is unveiled.
McConnell indicated the Senate could kick off “phase one” of Trump’s impeachment trial, after notifying Pelosi that he has a simple majority and can proceed.
“Fifty-one senators determine what we do and there will be, I’m sure, intense discussion, once we get past phase one, about the whole witness issue,” McConnell said, while also insisting that the Senate first receive the articles from the House.
McClatchy has more on what's happening in the Senate:
Ten Republican senators have signed onto Sen. Josh Hawley’s proposal to change the Senate rules to enable the chamber to dismiss President Donald Trump’s impeachment.
The Missouri Republican’s proposed rules change would empower the Senate to dismiss articles of impeachment if the House fails to deliver them within 25 days of its impeachment vote.
Hawley’s resolution, unveiled Monday, is a response to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to withhold the articles of impeachment against Trump in an effort to compel the GOP-controlled Senate to call witnesses when it holds its trial of the president. Pelosi’s strategy prevents the Senate from voting to acquit Trump from the charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
The former Missouri attorney general has argued that a criminal prosecutor would have a case dismissed against a defendant for using similar tactics. Hawley’s proposal is meant to pressure Pelosi, a California Democrat, to hand over the articles or to give the Senate an option if the delay continues.