Congress

Pelosi plans to send impeachment articles to Senate next week

Speaker has been holding articles since House approved them in December

A lone protester holds a sign reading “let the witnesses speak” at the House steps on Friday, Jan. 10, 2020. Speaker Nancy Pelosi indicated the House will transmit the two impeachment articles next week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi indicated Friday that the House will name impeachment managers and transmit the two articles of impeachment to the Senate next week — but first, she wants to gather input from her caucus Tuesday.

“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,” Pelosi said in a “Dear Colleague” letter. “I will be consulting with you at our Tuesday House Democratic Caucus meeting on how we proceed further.”

The impeachment articles, which the House approved in December, charge President Donald Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

House Democrats have largely backed Pelosi’s decision to hold the impeachment articles in the House as she attempted to leverage the Senate into agreeing to procedures for a “fair” trial. The hold, however, did not convince Senate Republicans to agree to Democrats’ demands to subpoena documents and four key administration witnesses.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday he has the votes among his members to pass procedures allowing the trial to start without an agreement on calling witnesses — a decision the Kentucky Republican said would be made after opening arguments.

In her letter, Pelosi bashed McConnell for “tactics of delay in presenting transparency, disregard for the American people’s interest for a fair trial and dismissal of the facts.”

“Yesterday, he showed his true colors and made his intentions to stonewall a fair trial even clearer by signing on to a resolution that would dismiss the charges,” the California Democrat added. “A dismissal is a cover-up and deprives the American people of the truth.”

 

Pelosi’s decision to consult her caucus before scheduling a vote to name impeachment managers, a step needed before the House can transmit the articles to the Senate, is contrary to other top-down decisions she’s made this Congress.

Some Democrats have said Pelosi kept them in the dark about when she would transmit the articles but most also said they were fine with whatever decision she made.

The speaker has provided regular updates on some concessions she sought from the Senate, most recently telling her caucus Tuesday that she wanted to see the Senate resolution outlining procedures Republicans plan to adopt for the trial.

McConnell has not relented to any of Pelosi’s demands, but Democrats still feel like they’ve accomplished something with the hold. Pelosi’s letter cited new emails released and other revelations related to Trump’s decision to hold off sending military aid to Ukraine unveiled through the press and former Trump National Security Advisor John Bolton announcing he would testify in the trial if the Senate subpoenaed him and Bolton’s lawyers saying he has new, relevant information.

 

Pelosi, speaking with reporters Friday morning just before her letter hit inboxes, said she’s had “absolutely total cooperation” from her Democratic colleagues on her decision to hold the articles.

“It cracks me up to see on TV, ‘Oh the pressure.’ Where’s the pressure?” she said. “I have news for them: You don’t have a story.”

Niels Lesniewski contributed to this report. 

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