At a news conference the morning after the House voted to impeach Trump, Pelosi said she is waiting to name impeachment managers until the Senate outlines the process it plans to follow for a potential impeachment trial.
“The next thing for us will be when we see the process that is set forth in the Senate,” Pelosi told reporters. Pelosi emphasized that there needs to be a “fair process,” although she declined to go into detail.
Under the rules the House adopted Wednesday for consideration of the impeachment articles, a resolution naming the impeachment managers — and authorizing the transmittal of the articles to the Senate — can be called up at any time by Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) or a designee.
There is no time limit on that authority; the House is expected to recess for the winter holidays as soon as Thursday and not return until Jan. 7.
At the news conference, Pelosi said she is not ready “to put the managers in that bill yet because frankly we don’t know the arena that we’re in.”
Earlier, Rep. Denny Heck (D-Wash.) summed up the thinking behind the strategy, likening Pelosi’s selection of managers to a coach picking which players to put on the court.
“It’s like a sports team: The people that you have on the court or on the field depend on the circumstance, right? Who is the opposition?” he asked. “If you’re in basketball, are you playing a tall lineup or a short, fast lineup? We don’t know what the ground rules are yet so how can we select our personnel?”
Some lawmakers expressed skepticism that a delay would improve the House Democrats’ position with the Senate.
“I think it’d be better if we just move things along a little bit,” said Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) “There’s been all this speculation about trying to leverage some opportunities over there. I don’t see that being likely with Mitch McConnell.”
At her news conference, Pelosi also praised lawmakers who voted for impeaching Trump on Wednesday night, telling reporters that she has a “spring in my step because of the moral courage of our caucus.”
“No one is above the law, and the president has been held accountable,” Pelosi said.
Shortly after Pelosi’s news conference got underway, Trump tweeted an attack on her, accusing the speaker of being afraid to move the impeachment process to the Senate.
“Pelosi feels her phony impeachment HOAX is so pathetic she is afraid to present it to the Senate, which can set a date and put this whole SCAM into default if they refuse to show up! The Do Nothings are so bad for our Country!” Trump tweeted.