Politics & Policy

Pelosi Pushes Back on Pressure to Release Impeachment Articles

U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks ahead of a House vote on a War Powers Resolution and amid the stalemate surrounding the impeachment of U.S. President Donald Trump, January 9, 2020. (Tom Brenner/Reuters)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday pushed back against mounting pressure from Democrats to release the articles of impeachment against President Trump to the Senate.

Democratic Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Chris Murphy of Connecticut called on Tuesday for Pelosi to send the articles to the Senate after Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) claimed he had gathered enough votes to determine the parameters of the impeachment trial without input from Democrats. Subsequently, Senators Dianne Feinstein of California, Jon Tester of Montana, Chris Coons of Delaware, and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut all urged Pelosi to allow the trial to begin.

On Thursday Representative Adam Smith (D., Wash.) told CNN that Pelosi should send the articles to the Senate. Several hours later he walked back his comments, and Pelosi said she would not immediately release the articles.

“We need to see the arena in which we are sending our [impeachment] managers. Is that too much to ask?” Pelosi told reporters at a weekly press conference. The Speaker claimed new developments had already changed conditions for the trial even before it has begun, such as the announcement by former national security adviser John Bolton that he would be willing to testify if subpoenaed.

“I’ll send [the articles] over when I’m ready, and that will probably be soon,” the Speaker said when asked when the Senate would receive the articles.

Senator McConnell plans to hold a vote on a resolution that will determine the parameters of the trial, while after opening arguments are made the Senate would vote on another resolution on whether to call witnesses to testify in the trial. Democrats want to vote on the inclusion of witnesses at the start of the trial to ensure they will be able to call officials who did not appear in impeachment hearings in the House.

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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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