A growing number of Senate Democrats are breaking ranks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and are urging the speaker to end her tactic of withholding articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.
“We are reaching a point where the articles of impeachment should be sent,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) told reporters on Jan. 8.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) told Pelosi, a fellow San Franciscan, to “send them over,” according to reporters. “I don’t see what good delay does,” she remarked.
“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,” she said.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) also told The Washington Post and other news outlets that he wants articles of impeachment to be sent to the upper chamber.
“I think it needs to start, I really do. I can’t tell the House how to do their business. I would never try to tell Speaker Pelosi. But the bottom line is … the holdout helped force Bolton to step forward. Let us do what we have to do over here,” he said.
“As far as I’m concerned, she can send them over at any time. I’m fine with that,” Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) told The Hill on Jan. 8.
Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) also told CNN that he wants Pelosi to transmit the articles soon.
Their comments come about a day after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced he had the votes for trial rules in Trump’s impeachment trial. The leader has said he wants to follow the impeachment trial precedent set when senators were forced to consider removing then-President Bill Clinton in 1999.
“We have the votes, once the impeachment trial has begun, to pass a resolution essentially the same—very similar—to the 100-to-nothing vote in the Clinton trial, which sets up, as you may recall, what could best be described as maybe a phase one,” McConnell told reporters in Washington.
Clinton’s trial had a two-step process, which included an initial agreement to hear the case and a later vote to decide on whether to call witnesses.
But Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) pushed for a resolution that would allow for witnesses and subpoenas for evidence. He called on four Republican senators to join Democrats in voting for that measure, while stating he wants to see witnesses such as former White House adviser John Bolton and chief of staff Mick Mulvaney testify.
On the floor of the Senate, Schumer vowed he would force a vote to call witnesses.
“The question looms: Will senators stand up for a fair trial. A fair trial with witnesses and documents. Right now, the Republican leader and I have very different visions on what it means to conduct a fair trial,” he said. “Democrats believe that a fair trial means all the relevant facts come out, and witnesses and documents are part of that trial.”
When Trump was impeached along party lines in mid-December 2019, Pelosi indicated she would place a hold on the two articles—obstruction of Congress and abuse of power—in order to see how the Senate would react. She also held back on naming the House impeachment managers who would be present during the trial.
The Epoch Times reached out to Pelosi’s office for comment, but hadn’t received a response by press time.