McConnell chided Pelosi on Monday for withholding the articles of impeachment from the Senate, accusing her of holding “an absurd position” and trying to tell his chamber how to run a trial.
“The papers have to be physically brought over to the Senate, and we can’t go forward until the speaker does that,” McConnell said during an appearance on Fox News’s “Fox & Friends.” “She’s apparently trying to tell us how to run the trial. You know, I’m not anxious to have this trial, so if she wants to hold onto the papers, go right ahead.”
“Look, we’re at an impasse. We can’t do anything until the speaker sends the papers over, so everyone enjoy the holidays,” McConnell added.
Pelosi has indicated she is waiting for McConnell and Schumer to agree on the process before holding a vote on a House resolution that is needed to name impeachment managers ahead of the launch of the trial.
Schumer is pushing to subpoena as part of a Senate trial several Trump administration officials, including acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, who declined to participate in House impeachment proceedings.
McConnell reiterated his view Monday that the Senate should follow the same rules as in the impeachment trial of then-President Bill Clinton. In that trial, senators heard opening arguments and submitted written questions before deciding whether to call witnesses, he said.
“What is good enough for President Clinton is good enough for President Trump,” McConnell said. “We haven’t ruled out witnesses.”
Asked if he thinks Pelosi is seeking a delay to create time for more evidence to come to light, McConnell did not directly answer.
“It seems to me to be a rather absurd position to say after you’ve impeached the president, you won’t send the papers over to the Senate for the impeachment trial mandated by the Constitution,” he said.