McCarthy suggests Pelosi delayed impeachment trial to kneecap Sanders

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyTrump asked Chamber of Commerce to reconsider Democratic endorsements: report The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by The Air Line Pilots Association - White House moves closer to Pelosi on virus relief bill Trump's sharp words put CDC director on hot seat MORE (R-Calif.) on Tuesday suggested that Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiAs families deal with coronavirus, new federal dollars should follow the student Sunday shows - Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death dominates Hypocrisy rules on both sides over replacing Justice Ginsburg MORE (D-Calif.) has been withholding the articles of impeachment to prevent Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersNYT editorial board remembers Ginsburg: She 'will forever have two legacies' Two GOP governors urge Republicans to hold off on Supreme Court nominee Sanders knocks McConnell: He's going against Ginsburg's 'dying wishes' MORE (I-Vt.) and other White House hopefuls in the Senate from campaigning during the upcoming trial.

McCarthy, speaking at a press conference in the Capitol, alleged that there were questions among Democratic leaders "about why she held them."

“If there's anyone who gained from this, it would be anybody who's running for president that's not in the U.S. Senate,” McCarthy said.

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Pelosi has consistently said since mid-December that she wanted more clarity on the how the GOP-controlled Senate would conduct President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden leads Trump by 36 points nationally among Latinos: poll Trump dismisses climate change role in fires, says Newsom needs to manage forest better Jimmy Kimmel hits Trump for rallies while hosting Emmy Awards MORE's impeachment trial before sending over the two articles.

The trial is expected to start next week and may last several weeks, possibly bumping up against the Feb. 3 Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary the following week.

McCarthy went on to say that Sanders “actually has a chance to win [the Democratic presidential nomination] but not now that Nancy Pelosi has held these documents."

Sanders has been climbing in nationwide polls, where former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden leads Trump by 36 points nationally among Latinos: poll GOP set to release controversial Biden report Can Donald Trump maintain new momentum until this November? MORE is the front-runner, and leads in some surveys of early voting states.

McCarthy said "if you look at the true political nature" of Pelosi's decision to withhold the two articles of impeachment, it was "to harm one campaign and give a benefit to another."

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Drew Hammill, a spokesman for Pelosi, tweeted a response to McCarthy's remarks.

"Impeachment has nothing to do with politics or the presidential race. As usual, the Minority Leader has no idea what he’s talking about," Hammill wrote.

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McCarthy also called on Biden to pause his campaign during the impeachment trial that Democratic Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenGOP set to release controversial Biden report Biden's fiscal program: What is the likely market impact? Warren, Schumer introduce plan for next president to cancel ,000 in student debt MORE (Mass.), Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharBattle lines drawn on precedent in Supreme Court fight Sunday shows - Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death dominates Klobuchar: GOP can't use 'raw political power right in middle of an election' MORE (Minn.) and Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetOVERNIGHT ENERGY: House Democrats tee up vote on climate-focused energy bill next week | EPA reappoints controversial leader to air quality advisory committee | Coronavirus creates delay in Pentagon research for alternative to 'forever chemicals' Senate Democrats demand White House fire controversial head of public lands agency Next crisis, keep people working and give them raises MORE (Colo.) will also be expected to attend instead of campaigning.

"The only rightful thing of Joe Biden is to make a pledge not to campaign while Bernie Sanders cannot,” McCarthy said Tuesday.

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem JeffriesHakeem Sekou JeffriesPelosi: House will stay in session until agreement is reached on coronavirus relief Races heat up for House leadership posts Postmaster general earned millions from company with ties to Postal Service: report MORE (D-N.Y.), a member of Democratic leadership, rejected McCarthy’s comments.

“We will not take campaign advice from Kevin McCarthy,” Jeffries said at a press conference shortly after McCarthy's remarks.

The House is expected to vote on a resolution to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate on Wednesday.

Updated at 12:55 p.m.