Democratic senators growing impatient with Pelosi on impeachment

Democratic senators are growing impatient over the delayed start of President TrumpDonald TrumpIran claims U.S. to lift all oil sanctions but State Department says 'nothing is agreed' Ivanka Trump, Kushner distance themselves from Trump claims on election: CNN Overnight Defense: Joint Chiefs chairman clashes with GOP on critical race theory | House bill introduced to overhaul military justice system as sexual assault reform builds momentum MORE’s impeachment trial and some say it’s time for Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSchumer vows to advance two-pronged infrastructure plan next month Senators say White House aides agreed to infrastructure 'framework' Tim Cook called Pelosi to say tech antitrust bills were rushed MORE (D-Calif.) to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate.

Democratic lawmakers in the upper chamber say Pelosi has achieved her goal of putting a spotlight on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellCan Manchin answer his predecessor's call on voting rights? Biden at Sen. John Warner's funeral: He 'gave me confidence' Democrats' narrow chance to retain control after 2022 MORE’s (R-Ky.) opposition to witness testimony and they’re ready to start hearing House impeachment managers and Trump’s defense team make their arguments.

“Time plays an unknown role in all of this, and the longer it goes on, the less the urgency becomes. So if it’s serious and urgent, it should come over. If it isn’t, don’t send it over,” said Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinHeat wave sparks historically unseasonable wildfires in West Energized Trump probes pose problems for Biden Granholm defends US emissions targets: 'If we don't take action, where are we?' MORE (Calif.), the top-ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee.


Asked if colleagues are starting to get impatient, Feinstein said, “If it’s going to happen, yes,” referring to the likelihood of a trial actually taking place.

“I’m not a big fan of impeachment but I think there’s enough to take a good look, and we should,” she said.

Feinstein said she doesn’t have “any sense” when the trial may start and neither do her colleagues.

Sen. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterWhite House digs in as infrastructure talks stall White House advisers huddle with Senate moderates on infrastructure Biden risks break with progressives on infrastructure MORE (D-Mont.) said he’s ready to get the trial started.

“As far as I’m concerned, she can send them over at any time. I’m fine with that,” he said.

Tester said it’s “unfortunate” that Republicans have not agreed ahead of the trial to call key witnesses such as former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonTrump said he hoped COVID-19 'takes out' Bolton: book US drops lawsuit, closes probe over Bolton book John Bolton: Biden-Putin meeting 'premature' MORE, Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoWhite House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine The Hill's Morning Report - ObamaCare here to stay The Hill's Morning Report - After high-stakes Biden-Putin summit, what now? MORE and acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyMick MulvaneyHeadhunters having hard time finding jobs for former Trump officials: report Trump holdovers are denying Social Security benefits to the hardest working Americans Mulvaney calls Trump's comments on Capitol riot 'manifestly false' MORE.


But he’s ready to get going.

“I’m ready to study it,” he said.

Other Democrats have also weighed in.

“I think it needs to start. I really do,” said Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinSchumer vows to advance two-pronged infrastructure plan next month Senators say White House aides agreed to infrastructure 'framework' Briahna Joy Gray: Biden is keeping the filibuster to have 'a Joe Manchin presidency' MORE (D-W.Va.). “Let us do what we have to do over here.”

Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphySenators say White House aides agreed to infrastructure 'framework' 'Killibuster': Democratic angst grows as filibuster threatens agenda Senate GOP blocks voting rights bill MORE (D-Conn.) told The Washington Post on Tuesday that the time has come for Pelosi to act.

“I think the time has passed. She should send the articles over,” he said.

A growing number of Senate Democrats think it doesn’t make much sense for Pelosi to keep holding on to the articles of impeachment because McConnell has already announced he has enough votes to pass an organizing resolution that would set up phase one of the trial without witnesses.

Democratic senators say Pelosi has successfully put a spotlight on McConnell’s opposition to requiring key witnesses and documents, which they say is essential to holding a fair trial.

“I think she’s achieved her goals of both making sure Mitch McConnell just couldn’t move to dismiss [the articles of impeachment] right before Christmas and also to flush out what McConnell’s posture will be,” said another Democratic senator who requested anonymity to discuss party strategy.

The senator said it’s not clear why Pelosi is continuing to hold onto the articles. 

“We’re ready to receive them,” the lawmaker said, speculating that Pelosi hasn’t yet initiated the Senate trial because she is still choosing the team of House prosecutors.

“She has to make decisions about House managers. She just can’t send them over and have selected them,” the source said. 


Once Pelosi sends the articles of impeachment, the Senate trial will begin immediately.

The Senate’s impeachment rules require it to convene at 1 p.m. the day after the presentation of the articles by the House managers and senators will be required to continue in session six days a week — except for Sunday — until the final judgment is reached.

Before proceeding to the articles of impeachment, Chief Justice John Roberts, the presiding officer, will administer the oath of office to all senators.

The Senate’s rules require that the president be immediately notified with a writ of summons that shall ask his defense team to appear before the chamber at a day fixed by the Senate to file its answer to the articles of impeachment.