GOP senator: Pelosi impeachment timeline intended to help Joe Biden

Greg Nash

Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) says Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is slowing down the House impeachment timeline to set up a Senate trial next year to keep presidential candidate Joe Biden’s top rivals stuck in Washington.

The first contest of the Democratic primary season, the Iowa caucuses, is scheduled for Feb. 3 and the second, the New Hampshire primary, follows quickly on Feb. 11.

That means January will be a crucial period for meeting voters in those two battleground states and any candidate kept away from the campaign trail will have a tougher path.

{mosads}“I was very surprised when Speaker Pelosi changed her schedule and said it’s going to be delayed. And the Senate will likely receive the articles [of impeachment] the first of January,” Kennedy, a member of the Judiciary Committee, told reporters Wednesday.

“What does that mean if we get them in January? You know who gets screwed? Every senator running for president of the United States because they’re going to be here — have to be here — every day at 12:30 six days a week with the primary starting in January,” he added.

“You know who that helps?” Kennedy asked reporters before confirming that he thinks Biden is the intended prime beneficiary.

“I’m telling you it happened real fast and my first thought was, ‘Who does this help and who does it hurt?’” Kennedy said, recalling his reaction after Pelosi indicated last week the House impeachment timeline will slip into December.

“You don’t have to be Mensa material to figure that one out,” he said, referring to the organization that requires its members to have an IQ in the top 2 percent.

There’s no evidence that Pelosi is scheduling the impeachment inquiry to help or hurt any Democratic candidate for president, and she has not endorsed a candidate.

Pelosi opposed moving forward with a formal impeachment inquiry for months before changing her position as information about Trump’s communications with officials in Ukraine became publicly known. 

An impeachment trial in the Senate could be a headache for the senators in the presidential race: Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.).  

The Senate impeachment rules state the Senate shall convene every day at 1 pm, or sooner if ordered by the Senate, to consider articles of impeachment and shall continue to be in session every day of the week except for Sunday.

The rules require the Senate to sit in trial of articles of impeachment continuously “until a final judgment shall be rendered, and so much longer as may, in its judgment, be needful.”

The rules further state that the Senate may direct the Sergeant at Arms to request and subsequently compel the attendance of any absent senators if a quorum is not present in the chamber.

The 1999 Senate trial of former President Clinton stretched for more than a month. 

Tags 2020 Democratic primary Amy Klobuchar Bernie Sanders Bill Clinton Cory Booker Elizabeth Warren Impeachment impeachment inquiry Joe Biden John Kennedy Michael Bennet Nancy Pelosi

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