Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) of overseeing a “rushed” impeachment effort against President Donald Trump.
“For weeks now, Republicans have been asking Democrats to take off their impeachment blinders and let Congress legislate for the American people. We’ve argued that American families deserve better than this partisan paralysis where Democrats literally obsess over impeachment and obstruct everything else,” McConnell said on the Senate floor on Dec. 5, shortly after Pelosi announced she’d directed House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) to draft articles of impeachment.
“This very morning, the Speaker gave a speech on national television to push forward her rushed and partisan impeachment,” McConnell said.
Pelosi uttered “not one word” on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade deal or the National Defense Authorization Act, he said.
“Democrats are too busy hosting a panel of law professors to criticize President Trump on television instead of the things American people actually need us to address,” McConnell said.
“Now the Kentuckians I represent cannot believe that our military commanders are being denied certainty, our men and women in uniform are being denied stable funding, and 176,000 new American jobs are being held up, all because Democratic leadership thinks there’s more political advantage in obstruction than in doing their job.”
McConnell, the top Republican in Congress, will set rules for a Senate impeachment trial if the House votes to impeach Trump.
Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, expressed confusion after Pelosi’s announcement, writing that Nadler asked him for his witness list this week.
“But Pelosi’s press conference seemed to indicate we’re moving straight to articles of impeachment. Judiciary has jurisdiction over articles of impeachment, but does the chairman even know what’s going on?” Collins said in a statement.
Nadler said on Wednesday that his committee would hold a hearing on Dec. 9 to receive presentations from counsels to the committee and the House Intelligence Committee regarding the impeachment inquiry against Trump.
Pelosi told reporters on Wednesday morning: “The president is a continuing threat to our democracy and leaves us no choice but to act. I am asking our chairmen to proceed with articles of impeachment.”
In another press conference later in the morning, she said that she was working with five other chairpersons apart from Nadler to draft the articles of impeachment. She praised three Constitutional scholars that Democrats called to testify on Tuesday, saying they helped people grasp “why it is important to move forward” with the inquiry.
“This has absolutely nothing to do with politics,” she said. “It’s about the Constitution of the United States.”
“I’m really sorry that the president made this necessary with his complete disregard for the Founders,” she said. “We don’t take any glee in this at all. It’s heartbreaking. But the president gave us no choice.”
She said that she was “comfortable with the time that we have put into this,” or two-and-a-half years, starting with the appointment of former special counsel Robert Mueller. A top Democrat said this week that the articles of impeachment should include Trump’s efforts to obstruct Mueller’s team.