“I got Impeached last [night] without one Republican vote being cast with the Do Nothing Dems on their continuation of the greatest Witch Hunt in American history. Now the Do Nothing Party want to Do Nothing with the Articles & not deliver them to the Senate, but it’s Senate’s call!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
“‘The Senate shall set the time and place of the trial.’ If the Do Nothing Democrats decide, in their great wisdom, not to show up, they would lose by Default!”
After the Democrats impeached Trump on Dec. 18 in a partisan vote, Pelosi told reporters that she may consider delaying sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate. Pelosi appeared to suggest that she will use the delay as leverage to negotiate what she called “a fair trial” in the Senate.
“We have legislation approved by the Rules Committee that will enable us to decide how we will send over the articles of impeachment,” Pelosi said. “We cannot name [impeachment] managers until we see what the process is on the Senate side.”
What was bipartisan was the vote against the articles. In addition to all the Republicans voting against impeachment, two Democrats broke ranks and voted with the Republicans on the first article of impeachment. Three Democrats broke ranks on the second article of impeachment. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) voted “present” on both articles.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) accused Pelosi and House Democrat leaders of being “too afraid” to send their articles of impeachment to the Senate.
“Speaker Pelosi suggested House Democrats may be too afraid to transmit their shoddy work product to the Senate. It looks like the prosecutors are getting cold feet in front of the entire country and second-guessing whether they should actually go to trial,” McConnell said on the Senate floor on Dec. 19.
McConnell railed against House Democrats a day after they voted to impeach Trump, accusing them of bringing an “unfair, unfinished product” that was “constitutionally incoherent” to a vote.
“The House has created an unfair, unfinished product that looks nothing like any impeachment inquiry in American history. And if the speaker ever gets her house in order, that mess will be dumped over here in the Senate’s lap. If the Senate blesses this slapdash impeachment—if we say that from now on, this is enough—then we invite an endless parade of impeachment trials. Future Houses of either party will be invited to toss up a jump ball anytime they feel angry,” he said.
“We’d be giving future Houses of either party unbelievable power to paralyze the Senate at their whim.”
When asked by a reporter, Pelosi wouldn’t answer questions about whether she’s 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 adviser to McConnell, wrote a mocking tweet on Dec. 18: “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 Dec. 17, McConnell said the Senate has to take up the matter 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 said.
“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,” he said.
Jack Phillips and Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.