White House

Group of House Democrats Pushing to Withhold Impeachment Articles from Senate to Gain Leverage in Trial: Report

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks ahead of a House vote authorizing an impeachment inquiry into President Trump on Capitol Hill, October 31, 2019. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

A group of House Democrats is urging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to withhold articles of impeachment against President Trump from the Senate in order to gain leverage over the parameters of the Senate trial, the Washington Post reported Wednesday just hours before the House vote on impeachment.

Representative Earl Blumenauer (D., Ore.) publicly floated on Wednesday the idea of withholding the articles until Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell agrees to allow testimony from witness the Democrats desire to hear.

“Who knows what would happen to augment the record?” Blumenauer said. “This ought to be able to play out…There’s no advantage to rushing this.” Blumenauer asserted he had spoken to over 30 House Democrats who had expressed interest in the idea.

Another House Democrat told the Post on condition of anonymity that representatives were discussing the idea of withholding the articles due to what they view as “serious concern about whether there will be a fair trial on the Senate side.”

A senior Democratic aide told the Post that the articles will be sent to the Senate only after Pelosi decides on impeachment managers to present the case for Trump’s removal at trial.

The House will vote Wednesday on two articles of impeachment against President Trump, one for obstruction of Congress and the other for abuse of power. The articles are expected to pass with a solid majority of Democrats and no Republican support.

Withholding impeachment articles from the Senate may rankle moderate Democrats from swing districts that voted for Trump in 2016. Several of these Democrats have announced they will vote for impeachment only after weeks of deliberation and pushback from Trump-supporting constituents.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.


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