In a “Dear Colleague” letter to fellow Democrats on Friday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced that, following several weeks of holding onto them, she would be pushing for articles of impeachment to be officially transmitted to the Senate next week.
“I have asked Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler to be prepared to bring to the Floor next week a resolution to appoint managers and transmit articles of impeachment to the Senate,” Pelosi wrote, according to reporting from the Washington Post.
Pelosi had previously been wary of passing the articles of impeachment onto the Senate, given Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s open and public statements on how he plans to deliver a win for President Donald Trump in that chamber.
Early in December during a Fox News interview, McConnell admitted he was working with Trump administration officials to ensure he wouldn’t be indicted in the Senate.
“Everything I do during this, I’m coordinating with the White House counsel,” McConnell said, according to the New York Times. “There will be no difference between the president’s position and our position as to how to handle this to the extent that we can.”
McConnell’s words resulted in a number of criticisms, including from a newspaper in his home state, and understandably so. Ultimately, when the impeachment trial begins, every senator (including McConnell) must take a pledge to be impartial. It’s clear that McConnell will likely violate that pledge when he takes it.
Because of wariness over how the Senate trial would be managed — including whether additional witnesses would be allowed to speak during it — Pelosi indicated, hours after articles of impeachment were passed within the House, that she would not pass them on until McConnell assured her that a fair process would come about.
“We cannot name [House] managers until we see what the process is on the Senate side,” Pelosi said on December 18. “So far we haven’t seen anything that looks fair to us. So hopefully it will be fair. And when we see what that is, we’ll send our managers.”
With Pelosi’s announcement on Friday, it appears that House leaders are giving up the cause to hold onto the impeachment articles any longer, content with knowing that the Senate won’t conduct a trial that is fair in their points of view.
By joining a resolution to dismiss, Sen. McConnell showed his true colors. Americans have now seen what is at stake in a fair trial with witnesses & evidence, and new evidence has emerged. Every Senator will have to vote: is their loyalty is to the President or the Constitution?
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) January 10, 2020
McConnell has also announced he will introduce a resolution to dismiss the charges entirely within the Senate. Pelosi responded to that news as well within her letter to colleagues on Friday:
“[McConnell] showed his true colors and made his intentions to stonewall a fair trial even clearer by signing on to a resolution that would dismiss the charges. A dismissal is a cover-up and deprives the American people of the truth. Leader McConnell’s tactics are a clear indication of the fear that he and President Trump have regarding the facts of the President’s violations for which he was impeached.”
Trump didn’t face any real possibility of being indicted, given the current makeup of the Senate. Even if all Democrats in that chamber, joined by the two independents, voted in favor of indictment, at least 20 Republicans would have to join them in order to get the two-thirds vote necessary to remove Trump from office — a number that, by all indications, just isn’t there.
Featured image credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr