McConnell hits Pelosi for having 'crumbled' to liberal pressure

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Health Care: Fireworks on health care expected at Dem debate | Trump FDA pick dodges on vaping ban | Trump to host meeting on youth vaping Friday | AMA calls for immediate vaping ban GOP senator blocks vote on House-passed Violence Against Women Act On The Money: Senate scraps plan to force second shutdown vote | Trump tax breaks for low-income neighborhoods draw scrutiny | McConnell rips House Dems for holding up trade deal MORE (R-Ky.) on Tuesday slammed House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiKlobuchar shuts down idea a woman can't beat Trump: 'Pelosi does it every day' Budowsky: Trump destroying GOP in 2018, '19, '20 On The Money: Senate scraps plan to force second shutdown vote | Trump tax breaks for low-income neighborhoods draw scrutiny | McConnell rips House Dems for holding up trade deal MORE (D-Calif.) for what he saw as her giving in to pressure from the left and announcing the start of impeachment proceedings against President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from the Democratic debate As Buttigieg rises, Biden is still the target Leading Democrats largely pull punches at debate MORE.

“Speaker Pelosi’s much-publicized efforts to restrain her far-left conference have finally crumbled. House Democrats cannot help themselves. Instead of working together across party lines on legislation to help American families and strengthen our nation, they will descend even deeper into their obsession with relitigating 2016,” McConnell said in a statement.

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McConnell criticized Pelosi and House Democrats for rushing to indict Trump before knowing all the facts. He noted that Trump is cooperating with congressional inquiries into media reports that a whistleblower filed a complaint against him with the intelligence community’s inspector general. 

“This rush to judgment comes just a few hours after President Trump offered to release the details of his phone conversation with President Zelensky,” McConnell said, making reference to Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine.

Trump has admitted that he discussed Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden with Zelensky but denied anything in the conversation was inappropriate.

Trump is suspected by Democrats of pressuring Zelensky to investigate the former vice president and his son Hunter Biden by threatening to withhold millions of dollars in U.S. aid to Ukraine.  

McConnell said Pelosi’s decision to begin impeachment proceedings "comes despite the fact that committee-level proceedings are already underway to address the whistleblower allegation through a fair, bipartisan, and regular process."

“It simply confirms that House Democrats’ priority is not making life better for the American people but their nearly three-year-old fixation on impeachment,” he said.

McConnell, as the majority leader, would have to take up any articles of impeachment passed by the House, but he has broad power to set the parameters of a Senate trial and influence what evidence is heard. 

His statement Tuesday indicated that he wouldn't give House Democratic prosecutors an expansive forum to make their case. 

Pelosi for months had resisted pressure from liberals in her caucus to launch impeachment proceedings.

“Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country. And he’s just not worth it,” she told The Washington Post in March, referring to Trump. 

McConnell said Democrats have been searching for a justification for impeaching Trump since the 2016 election, first pushing allegations that the Trump campaign colluded with Russian officials to defeat Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonAs Buttigieg rises, Biden is still the target Harris rips Gabbard over Fox appearances during Obama years Steyer, Gabbard and Yang shut out of early minutes of Democratic debate MORE and then focusing on charges that Trump attempted to obstruct former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerHouse impeachment hearings: The witch hunt continues Speier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump Gowdy: I '100 percent' still believe public congressional hearings are 'a circus' MORE’s investigation.

“Washington Democrats have been searching for ways to reverse their 2016 election defeat since before President Trump was even inaugurated,” McConnell said.

“The result has been a two-and-a-half-year impeachment parade in search of a rationale. When investigations by Special Counsel Mueller and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence deflated their breathless accusations of a campaign conspiracy with Russia, Democrats have simply shifted to new arguments for their predetermined conclusion,” he added.