News in what seems like the never-ending drama of the impeachment battle today.
As my colleague Streiff has noted, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the Senate Majority Leader, made it very clear to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) that he wasn’t going to bend to her demand to force an agreement to witnesses prior to her turning over the articles of impeachment and having a trial.
From Fox News:
“Their turn is over. They’ve done enough damage. It’s the Senate’s turn now to render sober judgment,” McConnell, R-Ky., said on the Senate floor.
But he stressed that the chamber cannot hold a trial unless and until the House of Representatives transmits the two articles of impeachment adopted last month, accusing President Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress pertaining to his dealings with Ukraine. Pelosi, D-Calif., has held onto them in a bid to seek favorable terms for a trial, including the involvement of certain Democrat-sought witnesses.
McConnell called Pelosi’s effort to “hand-design” the proceedings in the Senate a “non-starter” and a “fantasy.”
McConnell chastised the House Democrats again, basically saying things were at a standstill because Democrats have gotten “cold feet.” “The same people who spent weeks screaming that impeachment was so urgent … now decided it could wait indefinitely while they check the political winds and look for some new talking points,” he said.
Pelosi released in response:
New Pelosi statement on impeachment: pic.twitter.com/zKlYLYrmnZ
— Phil Mattingly (@Phil_Mattingly) January 3, 2020
She accused McConnell of “violating his oath” and helping President Donald Trump in a “cover-up.”
From The Hill:
“Today, Leader McConnell made clear that he will feebly comply with President Trump’s cover-up of his abuses of power and be an accomplice to that cover-up,” Pelosi said in a statement.
“Leader McConnell is doubling down on his violation of his oath, even after the exposure of new, deeply incriminating documents this week which provide further evidence of what we know: President Trump abused the power of his office for personal, political gain,” Pelosi added.
What she didn’t do was say when she would turn over the articles, lending credence to the theory that she never really intended to turn them over, but just use them as a club while they use it to to push the court for more evidence.
The calendar has no indication that she’s voting on anything to send it along.
Hoyer letter to Dem colleagues on upcoming items on the House schedule doesn't mention anything about sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) January 3, 2020
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) announced that he intends to introduce a measure on Monday to dismiss the “bogus impeachment” entirely.
Pelosi’s failure to act or say anything about when she will comply may add weight to his motion with the rest of the Senate. “If Dems won’t proceed with trial, bogus articles should be dismissed and @realDonaldTrump fully cleared,” Hawley said, according to Fox.