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Senate Republicans on delaying impeachment articles: 'One of the dumbest things I've ever heard'

Republicans quickly knocked talk by some House Democrats of delaying transmitting articles of impeachment against President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rages against '60 Minutes' for interview with Krebs Cornyn spox: Neera Tanden has 'no chance' of being confirmed as Biden's OMB pick Pa. lawmaker was informed of positive coronavirus test while meeting with Trump: report MORE to the Senate, warning that the pressure tactic would backfire. 
 
 
"Are they threatening to withhold the articles of impeachment?" he told The Hill. "That doesn't accomplish their intended goal. That just means we won't be having a trial." 
 
McConnell, asked by a Washington Examiner reporter about a potential delay, similarly shrugged it off, saying, "I'm in no hurry." 
 
The idea of delaying sending the impeachment articles to the Senate first surfaced last week when Democrats began talking about asking Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiObama chief economist says Democrats should accept smaller coronavirus relief package if necessary The five biggest challenges facing President-elect Biden Democrats were united on top issues this Congress — but will it hold? MORE (D-Calif.) to hold articles of impeachment in the House until McConnell agrees to a fair rules package for a Senate trial.
 
The idea resurfaced on Wednesday as the House headed toward a vote on the two articles of impeachment. 
 
Harvard Law School Professor Laurence Tribe penned a Washington Post op-ed in which he argued that delaying sending over the articles would strengthen Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerThe five biggest challenges facing President-elect Biden Collins urges voters to turn out in Georgia runoffs Protect America's houses of worship in year-end appropriations package MORE's hand in negotiations with McConnell over the rules of the impeachment trial. 
 
The idea, according to a separate Washington Post report, has gained traction with some members of the House Democratic Caucus who worry that McConnell will not agree to a fair proceeding. 
 
Sen. Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenDemocratic senators unveil bill to ban discrimination in financial services industry Senate Democrats call for ramped up Capitol coronavirus testing Democratic senators offer bill to make payroll tax deferral optional for federal workers MORE (D-Md.) told MSNBC that one alternative could be for Pelosi to "hold the articles of impeachment after they’ve been voted in the House and say to Mitch McConnell, Look, we want to make sure there’s a fair trial in the United States Senate.'" 
 
But Republicans on Wednesday night warned that tactic would fail to net Democrats a better agreement with McConnell on the rules of the proceeding. A Senate trial is expected to start in early January, with the rest of floor business, including Trump's trade deal with Mexico and Canada, on hold until after it ends. 
 
McConnell and Schumer are expected to sit down as soon as Thursday to start negotiating on the process for a trial. The GOP leader told senators during a closed-door caucus lunch on Tuesday to expect at least an announcement on the start date of the trial by Friday. 
 
Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.), a close Trump ally, argued that Democrats had already "wasted" 84 days on the House impeachment inquiry. 
 
"How would a delay make a better process over here?" he asked.

Sen. Mike BraunMichael BraunRepublicans ready to become deficit hawks again under a President Biden Meadows meets with Senate GOP to discuss end-of-year priorities McConnell reelected as Senate GOP leader MORE (R-Ind.) said discussion of delaying transmitting the articles shows House Democrats "are concerned about the case as it currently exists."

Asked if he thought it would help put pressure on Senate Republicans, he added, "No, because I don't think the pressure is on us at this point."