Pelosi Threatens to Delay Senate Impeachment Trial: Doesn’t Appear ‘Fair’

December 18, 2019 Updated: December 19, 2019

After the House voted to impeach President Trump, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) suggested that she will not send articles of impeachment to the Senate until she thinks House Democrats will get a fair hearing.

“We have legislation approved by the Rules Committee that will enable us to decide how we will send over the articles of impeachment,” Pelosi told reporters Wednesday. “We cannot name [impeachment] managers until we see what the process is on the Senate side.”

She added that “so far, we haven’t seen anything that looks fair to us” in the Senate. “That would’ve been our intention, but we’ll see what happens over there.”

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said he agrees with her move.

“The question is now whether Sen. McConnell will allow a fair trial in the Senate, whether the majority leader will allow a trial that involves witnesses and testimony and documents. A trial that should be fair to the president, yes, but should be fair to the American people,” he told reporters.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said that he will coordinate the trial with the White House and has said the president is expected to be acquitted by the Republican-majority chamber. He has said he would prefer a relatively short trial, where House managers present the case to remove Trump and Trump’s defense team offers counter-arguments—something not granted in the initial House hearings.

When asked by a reporter, Pelosi wouldn’t answer questions on if she was looking to indefinitely hold the articles of impeachment in the House.

“We’re not having that discussion,” she said, according to the Washington Post.

Josh Holmes, an advisor to McConnell, tweeted mockingly on Wednesday: “Folks, this might be the greatest compliment McConnell has ever received. They are seriously entertaining holding a grenade with the pin pulled rather than facing what happens when they send it over McConnell’s wall.”

In an interview with Fox News on Tuesday, the Senate majority leader said the Senate has to take the matter up due to its rules.

“We’ll listen to the arguments that the House managers appointed by Pelosi make, we’ll listen to the response from the president’s lawyers, and we’ll have a period of written questions, and then the Senate will have to make a decision,” McConnell told the network.

“Do we know enough, have we learned enough after listening to all this that we want to vote on the two very weak articles of impeachment? Or, do we want to have a show trial in which both sides try to embarrass the other and put on an embarrassing scene, frankly, for the American people,” McConnell stated.