McConnell knocks Pelosi for delaying impeachment articles

McConnell knocks Pelosi for delaying impeachment articles
© Greg Nash
 
McConnell, speaking from the Senate floor, described the House process as the "most rushed, least thorough and most unfair" and argued that House Democrats have gotten "cold feet." 
 
"How inappropriate and how embarrassing to rush forward on a partisan basis and then treat ... what you've done like a political toy. How contemptuous of the American people," McConnell said. 
 
He added House Democrats appear to be waiting "for some mythical leverage" as part of a "pretrial hostage negotiation." 
 
"I've had difficulty figuring out where the leverage is," McConnell said. 
 
The House passed two articles of impeachment against President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump goes after Cassidy after saying he wouldn't support him for president in 2024 Jan. 6 panel lays out criminal contempt case against Bannon Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Agencies sound alarm over ransomware targeting agriculture groups MORE last month, one charging the president with abusing his power in his dealings with Ukraine and another alleging he obstructed Congress during its investigation of those actions.
 
But Pelosi threw a curveball into the timeline for the Senate trial by refusing to say when, or if, she would send over the articles, a first step to starting the proceeding in the upper chamber. Democrats say they are waiting for more details on what the trial will look like before they appoint House managers. 
 
 
Schumer wants one resolution at the outset that deals with both the rules and a deal on calling specific witnesses. Democrats want four witnesses, including former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonWe've left Afghanistan — but its consequences are just starting to arrive It's time to pull the plug on our toxic relationship with Pakistan Overnight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod MORE, who said on Monday that he would testify if he is subpoenaed
 
"Mr. Trump if you believe you've done nothing wrong, you have nothing to be afraid of from witnesses and documents," Schumer said on Tuesday. "If my Republican colleagues believe the president has done nothing wrong, they should have nothing to fear." 
 
But McConnell wants two resolutions. The first, passed at the outset, would deal specifically with the procedures for a trial. A second resolution, passed after opening arguments from both sides and questions from senators, would determine which, if any, witnesses are called. 
 
With a larger deal between McConnell and Schumer unlikely, 51 senators will effectively be able to determine the process for the trial. McConnell appears to have the votes to establish the rules and punt a decision on witnesses until after the trial starts. 
 
"If that unanimous bipartisan precedent was good enough for President Clinton, it should be our template for President Trump," McConnell said on Tuesday. "Fair is fair."