House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is facing pressure from her own party as House and Senate Republicans and Democrats call for her to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate.
The articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, which were passed on Dec. 18, have been in limbo for weeks as the house speaker refuses to send them to the Senate until she knows exactly how the impeachment trial will be held.
On Tuesday, Pelosi said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell needed to “immediately” publish the rules for the impeachment trial before she would send the impeachment articles to the Senate, according to CNN.
While Pelosi has delayed the Senate trial, members of her own party are anxiously waiting for the articles of impeachment and some have even defected to the Republican side.
Sen. Chris Murphy told The Washington Post that Pelosi should send the articles to the Senate even if McConnell refuses to give her the details of the resolution.
“I think the time has passed,” the Connecticut Democrat said. “She should send the articles over.”
Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal told the Washington Examiner that while it is the speaker’s decision to make, “[W]e are ready, willing and able. I’m ready … to try this case, but she will have to make a decision.”
Three House Democrats defected from their party during the impeachment vote: Reps. Jeff Van Drew, Collin Peterson and Jared Golden.
New Jersey Rep. Van Drew has already announced he will be switching parties.
“I believe that this is just a better fit for me,” Van Drew said in his announcement, according to a pool report. “This is who I am.”
DNC Chairman Tom Perez said in a Tuesday interview on MSNBC’s “Velshi & Ruhle” that if a Senate impeachment trial is underway, the Jan. 14 Democratic presidential debate will have to be postponed because many of the 2020 candidates are senators.
“Well, Democrats and our senators can walk and chew gum,” he said. “Obviously, if there’s a trial on the 14th, then we’ll move the debate. If there’s not, then we’re going to have the debate. And at the moment, all systems are go.”
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer would not confirm when Pelosi intended on sending the articles to the Senate.
“This matter will be decided by the speaker, and she will give you the information as to when, how, why, and what not,” the Maryland Democrat told the Washington Examiner.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer pledged Tuesday to force a vote on calling impeachment witnesses at the start of the trial, but McConnell will need — and has — 51 votes to shoot any vote down.
McConnell told Republican senators Tuesday that they “have the votes” to pass a resolution to start the impeachment trial without requiring witness testimony.
“We have the votes, once the impeachment trial has begun, to pass a resolution essential the same, very similar to the 100 to nothing vote in the Clinton trial, which sets up, as you may recall, what could best be described maybe as a Phase One,” McConnell said, according to The Hill.
McConnell gained the votes to pass the resolution after two Republican moderate voters, Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, confirmed Monday night that they would back it.
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