McConnell fails to steamroll Pelosi on plan sham impeachment trial

McConnell fails to steamroll Pelosi on his plan to proceed with sham impeachment trial

  • 01/08/2020 9:00 am ET Sunny Hundal

Pelosi uses Senate Leader Moscow Mitch's own words against him in 'strategic step'

On Tuesday, Sen. Mitch McConnell tried to force Nancy Pelosi’s hand on impeachment proceedings by declaring he didn’t need the support of Democrats to move forward.

But it didn’t quite go according to plan. Nancy Pelosi didn’t relent, instead, she dared him to go ahead.

What happened

Early on Tuesday, Moscow Mitch said he had the necessary votes to push through with partisan rules outlining the framework for Trump’s impeachment trial.

In other words, he didn’t want to wait for Nancy Pelosi to transmit the articles of impeachment against President Trump to the Senate. He threatened to forge ahead by himself.

But Pelosi didn’t relent. Later on Tuesday, she wrote a letter to Democrats saying she wouldn’t budge.

“Sadly, Leader McConnell has made clear that his loyalty is to the President and not the Constitution.”

“It is important that he immediately publish this resolution, so that, as I have said before, we can see the arena in which we will be participating, appoint managers and transmit the articles to the Senate.”

Pelosi still wants to know how McConnell will conduct the trial in the Senate before transmitting the articles of impeachment.

Why this matters

The House impeached Trump three weeks ago. Pelosi wants to ensure the Senate will hold an impartial impeachment trial before she transmits the articles of impeachment. So there’a stalemate.

Moscow Mitch could go ahead but he would be taking a huge risk. Though Americans remain divided over whether Trump should be removed from office after impeachment, an overwhelming majority want to see a fair trial.

A quick, sham acquittal of Trump could severely undermine public confidence in the GOP-controlled Senate and put more Republicans at risk in the coming election.

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