House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday she knows ‘’exactly when” she’ll be transmitting the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, brushing back Democratic comments that the time has come to start the Senate trial.
Pelosi told reporters at the Capitol she had no concerns about the anxiety some House and Senate Democrats are showing over the standoff with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell about the terms of the delayed trial. It’s now more than three weeks since the House impeached Trump on charges of abuse and obstruction.
“Same thing I’ve said before,” Pelosi told The Associated Press as she entered the Capitol. “We’d like to see how we’re going to proceed, and then we’ll know who to send. I have an obligation to my members, especially those on the committees, to do justice to their work.”
Asked later as she headed for a morning meeting if she had any concerns about losing support from Democrats for her strategy, she said: “No.”
Pelosi told reporters, “I know exactly when” she plans to send the impeachment articles over, but, “I won’t be telling you right now.’’ One top lawmaker, Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, told CNN yesterday “it’s time” to send over the charges. But shortly afterward, he tweeted that he misspoke: “If the Speaker believes that holding on to the articles for a longer time will help force a fair trial in the Senate, then I wholeheartedly support that decision.”
Trump tweeted yesterday that “Pelosi doesn’t want to hand over The Articles of Impeachment, which were fraudulently produced by corrupt politicians like Shifty Schiff in the first place, because after all of these years of investigations and persecution, they show no crimes and are a joke and a scam!” Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., led the House impeachment inquiry.
The standoff over Trump’s impeachment trial deepened this week as McConnell said there will be “no haggling” with Democrats as Pelosi demands for more details and witnesses.
McConnell said on Thursday if Pelosi and House Democrats are “too embarrassed’’ to transmit 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 as he opened the Senate.
McConnell’s Senate majority has the leverage Republicans need to launch Trump’s trial toward swift acquittal of the charges, but Pelosi’s reluctance to transmit the articles of impeachment leaves the proceedings at a standstill.