House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Wednesday that she may not send the articles of impeachment to the Senate for a trial until at least January as the two parties attempt to negotiate an agreeable set of rules, according to Politico.
Even though the House of Representatives voted to adopt two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump (abuse of power and obstruction of Congress), the process doesn’t actually transition to the Senate until the House names its impeachment managers — the people who will present the case in the trial.
Pelosi indicated that those managers will not likely be named this year, setting up a delay of at least two weeks or longer before the Senate takes over.
“We cannot name managers until we see what the process is on the Senate side, and we hope that will be soon,” Pelosi said. “So far we haven’t seen anything that looks fair to us, so hopefully it will be fair.”
Democrats have pointed to comments from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) saying he would be coordinating with the White House on how to run the trial as a sign that the case will not get a full and fair hearing in the upper chamber.
Part of the conflict between Democrats and Republicans centers on whether Democrats will be able to call new witnesses. Democrats would want current and former Trump officials such as chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and former national security adviser John Bolton to testify.
McConnell said he was not worried about a potential delay in the House transmitting articles of impeachment to the Senate, saying “I’m in no hurry.” Notes from a Thursday morning speech indicate McConnell will speculate that Democrats might be scared to send their “shoddy work product” to the Senate.
The White House spun the delay as an attempt by Democrats to prevent President Trump from receiving his day in court.
“House Democrats have run a fatally flawed process with fake facts, and now they want to deny the president his day in court with another procedural maneuver that proves anew they have no case,” said Eric Ueland, a White House congressional liaison.