House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to immediately hold an impeachment trial in a “manner worthy of the Constitution,” but did not specify when she will transfer two articles of impeachment to the upper chamber.
“In December, the House upheld its Constitutional duty to defend democracy For The People, honoring the vision of our Founders for a Republic. In an impeachment trial, every U.S. Senator is required to take an oath to ‘do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws,” Pelosi said in a statement.
“Leader McConnell is doubling down on his violation of his oath, even after the exposure of new, deeply incriminating documents this week which provide further evidence of what we know: President Trump abused the power of his office for personal, political gain,” the speaker added.
“The American people deserve the truth. Every Senator now faces a choice: to be loyal to the President or the Constitution. The GOP Senate must immediately proceed in a manner worthy of the Constitution and in light of the gravity of the President’s unprecedented abuses. No one is above the law, not even the President,” she concluded.
Pelosi’s statement came in response to a fiery floor speech by McConnell, in which he slammed Democrats for demanding that the speaker play a role in a Senate trial, calling it a”non-starter.”
“We’ve heard it claimed that the same House Democrats who botched their own process should get to reach over here into the Senate and dictate our process,” said McConnell.
“Let me clarify Senate rules and Senate history for those who may be confused,” he added. “First, about this fantasy that the Speaker of the House will get to hand-design the trial proceedings in the Senate, that’s obviously a non-starter.”
McConnell and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) have remained at an “impasse” in starting a trial after Pelosi opted against transferring the impeachment articles following a partisan House vote to approve them earlier this month. The Kentucky Republican has rejected Schumer’s call to include additional witnesses and documents as part of an upcoming trial, something the New York Democrat claims will help ensure a “fair” trial.
“The House went ahead without witnesses, and they didn’t pursue the witnesses in court,” he has said of the request. “They just blew right through that and accused the president of doing something improper by simply invoking executive privilege, which every president has done.”
Pelosi’s remarks also come as a majority of voters say they want the speaker to submit the articles to McConnell with 58 percent of respondents backing the move, according to a Harvard CAPS/Harris poll published Friday.