House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) is coming under fire after some startling comments he made about Republican President Donald Trump. This following the House of Representatives voting to approve dual articles of impeachment against Trump. On a party-line vote, Democrats approved the obstruction of Congress and abuse of power charges. While the Republican Party held firm.
As the Democrat from South Carolina stated, “If he [Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)] doesn’t come around to committing to a fair trial, keep those articles here. So — keep it as long as it takes.” Then added, “If you know, and he’s told you, what he’s gonna do, he’s just — almost like, ‘Let’s give him a fair trial and hang him.’ I mean, it’s the reverse of that.”
A curious choice of words, to be sure. Yet political rivals on each side are now sparring over the actual meaning and context of that statement.
During an appearance on CNN Thursday, Clyburn warned House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) against sending the articles of impeachment vs. President Trump to the Senate until Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) can ensure impartiality.
Clyburn further announced, “Well, the delay is made necessary because the majority in the Senate has made it very clear that he’s not going to be impartial. He’s not going to be fair. He will collude, if you please, with the White House – at least the White House’s attorneys – to decide how he will go forward.”
Plus argued, “Why would the Speaker of the House step into that without trying to determine exactly what the majority leader plans to do? So I applaud her for this. In fact, I was one of the ones arguing that this ought to be the case,” he continued. “And until we can get some assurances from the majority leader that he is going to allow for a fair and impartial trial to take place, we will be crazy to walk in there knowing he set up a kangaroo court.”
“If it were me, yes, that’s what I’m saying. I have no idea what the Speaker will do. But if you have a pre-ordained outcome that’s negative to your actions, why walk into it? I’d much rather not take that chance,” he said.
Lower chamber leader Pelosi has indicated that House Democrats have no immediate plans to submit those articles for a potential trial in the U.S. Senate.