Pelosi Won't Be Hurried on Articles of Impeachment

Speaker says she'll send them to the Senate 'when I'm ready'
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 9, 2020 4:00 PM CST
Pelosi Won't Be Hurried on Articles of Impeachment
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks to reporters Thursday on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – With pressure building for her to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate for President Trump's trial, Nancy Pelosi said Thursday she'll take that step "when I'm ready." At a press conference, the House speaker added, "that will probably be soon." The trial can't start until the articles reach the Senate, NBC reports, but Pelosi has said she's waiting for the Senate to commit to a process for the trial. "At some point, we would hope that we would see from them what the terms of engagement will be," she said Thursday. Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, said earlier in the day that the Senate is ready to move on if Pelosi doesn't act soon, per the Hill. "We will operate on the assumption that House Democrats are too embarrassed to ever move forward," he said. Pelosi suggested taking up the trade deal with Canada and Mexico, which the House has passed, would be a good place to start.

One of the Democratic lawmakers who has suggested it's time for Pelosi to send the articles, which were passed Dec. 18, is Rep. Adam Smith. But hours after his public contradiction, he tweeted that he "misspoke" and that he backs Pelosi's decision. Several Democratic senators also expressed impatience, then said it's up to Pelosi. "I don't quite know what the strategy is," Sen. Dianne Feinstein said. "If you’re going to do it, do it. If you’re not going to do it, don’t." But she later said: "We have plenty to do, and the speaker will send them over when she's ready to send them over." Pelosi dismissed McConnell's shot by saying: "We are proud of our defense of the Constitution of the United States. We are concerned that the senators will not be able to live up to the oath that they must take to have an impartial trial." (McConnell said he has the votes to run the trial his way.)

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