On Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) demanded that the Senate “immediately proceed” with an impeachment trial, even as she continues to withhold the necessary articles such a trial would be based upon, Breitbart reported.
In December, following a brief impeachment inquiry, House Democrats voted to pass two articles of impeachment, expressing the urgency of the need to impeach President Donald Trump and remove him from office. But Pelosi has so far refused to transmit them to Senate, in a bid to dictate the terms of the trial.
Pelosi: Senate must “immediately proceed”
Pelosi’s position on impeachment is hard to pin down — first it was urgent, then it could wait over the holidays, now it is urgent once again. In an official statement released by the Speaker’s office on Friday morning, Pelosi declared that the “House upheld its Constitutional duty to defend democracy For The People.”
She reminded the Senate that “every U.S. Senator is required to take an oath to ‘do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws'” as part of an impeachment trial.
Pelosi noted that the House has subpoenaed documents and testimony that were being challenged in the courts, but suggested that “compelling evidence of impeachable conduct” had already been produced and was being ignored by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who Pelosi accused of being an “accomplice” with President Trump’s “cover-up of his abuses of power.”
“The American people deserve the truth. Every Senator now faces a choice: to be loyal to the President or the Constitution,” Pelosi said. “The GOP Senate must immediately proceed in a manner worthy of the Constitution and in light of the gravity of the President’s unprecedented abuses. No one is above the law, not even the President.”
McConnell rips impeachment
Left unexplained in that statement is how the Senate is supposed to “immediately proceed” with an impeachment trial when Pelosi has yet to transmit the articles of impeachment, a point which had been made by McConnell in his remarks on the Senate floor earlier the same day.
The Senate Majority Leader shredded Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and other prominent Democrats for the partisan impeachment.
“And then, just before the holidays, this sad spectacle took another unusual turn: As soon as the partisan impeachment votes had finished, the prosecutors began to develop cold feet. Instead of sending the articles to the Senate, they flinched,” McConnell said. “That’s right: The same people who’d just spent weeks screaming that impeachment was so serious and so urgent that it could not even wait for due process now decided it could wait indefinitely while they checked the political winds and looked for new talking points.”
McConnell, one by one, ripped apart the “new talking points” put forward by Democrats and their media allies, specifically the notion that Pelosi could “dictate” the terms of a Senate trial, the critique of his coordinating with the White House on the trial “mechanics,” or the claims regarding an oath of impartiality by senators sitting as jurors in a trial.
“And no member of this body needs condescending lectures on fairness from the House Democrats who just rushed through the most unfair impeachment in modern history … or lectures on impartiality from senators who happily pre-judged the case with President Clinton and simply change their standards to suit the political winds,” he said.
Senate will continue “ordinary business”
In conclusion, McConnell bluntly stated, “Their turn is over. They have done enough damage. It’s the Senate’s turn now — to render sober judgment as the framers envisioned. But we can’t hold a trial without the articles. The Senate’s own rules don’t provide for that. So, for now, we are content to continue the ordinary business of the Senate while House Democrats continue to flounder. For now.” Looks like we can expect the McConnell/Pelosi standoff to continue indefinitely.