Pelosi shrugs off GOP gripes about her holding onto articles of impeachment

Speaker takes wait and see approach to Senate process

A person walks by the newspaper front pages, from around the US, on display at the Newseum the day after the House of Representatives passed two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Thursday Dec. 19, 2019. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)
A person walks by the newspaper front pages, from around the US, on display at the Newseum the day after the House of Representatives passed two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Thursday Dec. 19, 2019. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)
Posted December 19, 2019 at 11:27am

Just hours after Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would hold off for now on sending articles of impeachment to the Senate, the California Democrat on Thursday said she hopes the Senate can come to a bipartisan agreement on President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial procedures like they did 20 years ago when President Bill Clinton was impeached.

“We would hope that they can come to some conclusion like that, but in any event, we’re ready when we see what they have,” she said, noting she’ll name impeachment managers and transmit the articles to the Senate at that time.

Asked if her requirement for transmitting the articles to the Senate was a fair process, Pelosi demurred.

“We would hope there would be a fair process,” she said. “Frankly I don’t care, what [Republicans] have to say,” she said when asked about suggestions from the GOP that she’s playing games.

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Earlier in the morning, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell criticized House Democrats’ effort as a “toxic new precedent.”

And he said Pelosi’s decision to wait to see what the impeachment process would look like in the Senate before sending the articles over was asking the Senate to clean up House Democrats’ “shoddy work product.”

McConnell earlier this week said he would not be an impartial juror in the trial, something echoed by other senior Republicans in the chamber like Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. 

Pelosi otherwise declined to answer reporters’ questions about her power move, just reiterating that she was not prepared to name impeachment managers until seeing what the trial process will look like.

“I said what I was going to say,” she said.