Thursday, January 9, 2020
Pelosi WON'T BUDGE on Sending IMPEACHMENT to Senate
Despise rising pressure from her own party, Nancy Pelosi dug in her heels Thursday, telling reporters she still wanted to know the rules of the Senate’s impeachment trial and would forward articles of impeachment passed by the House “when I’m ready.”
“I’m not holding them indefinitely. I’ll send them over when I’m ready and that will probably be soon. I think we should move smartly and strategically,” she told reporters at her weekly press briefing.
The California Democrat insisted her caucus wasn’t trying to dictate the rules, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has accused her since the speaker has refused to turn over the articles until he states the ground rules of an impeachment trial.
“We don’t have to like the rules. We just want to know what they are. We need to see the arena in which we are sending our managers. Is that too much to ask?” she said.
Asked why she wouldn’t forward the articles now after repeatedly stressing how urgent the matter was in December, claiming it was dangerous to leave President Trump in office and allow him to seek reelection, the House speaker simply cited new evidence that’s emerged since the articles were passed on Dec. 18.
“In the past few weeks since we’ve had this, shall we say, impasse, because they won’t reveal the terms of engagement, many things have been accomplished that are of collateral benefit to the discussion,” she said.
Pelosi cited emails showing that top officials at the Pentagon were concerned about the legality of Team Trump’s withholding of military aid to Ukraine at a time he was asking them to announce investigations that could benefit him personally.
Another message said the order to withhold the aid came directly from POTUS.
She also cited former national security adviser John Bolton’s announcement that he would be will to testify at a Senate trial if subpoenaed.
“Our investigation and our articles necessitate a fair trial with documents and witnesses. [Republicans] don’t want documents, the documentation, they don’t want witnesses. They may want a dismissal, which is proof that they cannot clear the president of the wrongdoing,” she asserted.
Some Democrats, including Sens. Dianne Feinstein of California and Joe Manchin of West Virginia as well as independent Angus King of Maine, who caucuses with the Democrats, have all urged her to move the process along.
“The longer it goes on the less urgent it becomes,” Feinstein told Politico “So if it’s serious and urgent, send them over. If it isn’t, don’t send it over.”
Manchin agreed with Feinstein that the House “should move on” and deliver the articles to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
McConnell said this week he had enough support from his fellow Republicans to set the rules for Trump’s impeachment trial, dealing a blow to Democrats’ efforts to call new witnesses against the president.
Dems argue that the Senate trial should hear testimony from at least three White House officials and Bolton — whom Trump says “knows nothing” about the matter — concerning the president’s efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate a political rival.
McConnell has resisted the idea, instead seeking a fast trial based on evidence collected in the House before it voted last month to impeach Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
The House has charged Trump with abusing his power for personal gain by asking Ukraine President Voldymyr Zelensky to announce a corruption investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading contender for the Democratic nomination to face Trump in November’s presidential election.
Trump has repeatedly said he did nothing wrong and has dismissed his impeachment as a partisan “hoax” to undo his 2016 election win.
Impeachment was also on the president’s mind as he lashed out on Twitter earlier Thursday
“PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT!” he wrote.
“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!” he railed in another.
With Post wires