The House of Representatives formally impeached President Trump on Wednesday evening in a vote of 230-197 along party lines. Yet, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has decided to delay, at least for the time being, the transmission of the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate for trial.
The Washington Examiner reports, “Pelosi has no plans to send impeachment articles to the Senate this year.” According to the article, “Pelosi left the impeachment process in limbo Wednesday when, in the moments after the House impeached President Trump, she announced there are no immediate plans to appoint managers to deliver the articles.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has laid out several demands to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for how he wants the Senate trial to be conducted. His goal is to make the process as favorable to the Democrats as possible. If McConnell doesn’t agree to those demands, Pelosi has indicated she will hold the articles.
Mitch McConnell blasted Pelosi’s move in a speech on the Senate floor on Thursday morning. “This particular House of Representatives has let its partisan rage at this particular president create a toxic new precedent that will echo well into the future. Looks like the prosecutors are getting cold feet,” McConnell said.
Pelosi’s decision to delay sending the Articles to the Senate may have been born out of reluctance from three dozen House Democrats to move forward with impeachment. According to The Daily Wire, prior to the impeachment vote those House Democrats had urged Speaker Pelosi to withhold voting on the two Articles of Impeachment over concerns as to how the Senate would conduct the trial.
House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) said on Thursday that if it were up to him, he would hold the articles in the House indefinitely. “If Mitch McConnell doesn’t come around and commit to a fair trial, keep those articles here and keep it as long as it takes,” Rep. Clyburn remarked.
The Constitution stipulates in Article I Section 3 that, “The Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments.”
Some speculate that the Speaker’s move to withhold the Articles from the Senate violates the Constitution’s prescription for impeachment proceedings.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) responded to Pelosi’s move via tweet: “If House Dems refuse to send Articles of Impeachment to the Senate for trial it would be a breathtaking violation of the Constitution, an act of political cowardice, and fundamentally unfair to President Trump. Not allowing the Senate to act on approved Articles of Impeachment becomes Constitutional extortion and creates chaos for the presidency. It also sets in motion a tremendous threat to our Constitutional system of checks and balances.”
Time will tell how long Speaker Pelosi chooses to withhold sending the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate.
For most Americans who just want the impeachment drama to be over, I think they would say, “the sooner the better.”
You can read Focus President Jim Daly’s response to President Trump’s impeachment here.
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