Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Friday that the House will consider a resolution next week to appoint impeachment managers and transmit articles of impeachment to the Senate, setting the stage for a historic trial of President Trump.
Her announcement, in a letter to Democratic colleagues, came shortly after the House ended its workweek without taking a vote on the matter. As recently as Thursday, Pelosi (D-Calif.) had continued to insist that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) should release a resolution laying out rules of a trial before the articles are transmitted.
The crux of the Democrats’ case is the allegation that President Trump tried to leverage a White House meeting and military aid, sought by Ukraine to combat Russian military aggression, to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch an investigation of former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, as well as a probe of an unfounded theory that Kyiv conspired with Democrats to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.
●‘Soon,’ Pelosi promises, as some Democrats grow restless over delay in Trump’s impeachment trial.
McConnell won’t commit to time frame for Senate trial
As he left the Capitol on Friday, McConnell spoke briefly with reporters about the Senate trial.
“Well, we’ve been anxious to get started for that last — how many weeks has it been now? And we’ll get about it as soon as we can,” the majority leader said.
McConnell wouldn’t commit to a time frame when asked whether he hoped to have the trial finished before the State of the Union on Feb. 4.
“Look, we’re just getting started,” he said. “I’m glad we now have the opportunity to do it. And it’s been a long wait. I’m glad it’s over.”
The House impeached Trump on Dec. 18.
Asked whether he had spoken to Pelosi, McConnell said simply, “Not really.”
By Paul Kane and Colby Itkowitz
January 10, 2020 at 3:00 PM EST
Trump suggests he’ll invoke executive privilege if Bolton is called
Trump claims he has no problem with former national security adviser John Bolton testifying, except for the precedent it sets for future administration, according to excerpts from a pretaped interview with Fox News’s Laura Ingraham to air at 10 p.m. Friday.
“Why not call Bolton? Why not allow him to testify? This thing is bogus. Why not allow Bolton to testify?” Ingraham asked the president.
“No problem other than one thing. You can’t be in the White House as president, future, I’m talking about future — any future presidents — and have a security adviser, anybody having to do with security, and legal and other things but especially—” Trump said.
“Are you going to invoke executive privilege?” Ingraham interjected.
“Well I think you have to for the sake of the office,” Trump said.
Ingraham also asked Trump about Pelosi’s handling of the articles of impeachment, which he called “ridiculous.”
“She should have sent them a long time ago. It just belittles the process,” Trump said.
By Colby Itkowitz
January 10, 2020 at 2:30 PM EST
Schumer says Senate Democrats ‘are ready’
Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) released a statement after Pelosi announced that the House is likely to send the articles over next week.
“Senate Democrats are ready for the trial to begin and will do everything we can to see that the truth comes out,” he said.
Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) tweeted, “I’m ready.”
By Colby Itkowitz
January 10, 2020 at 2:00 PM EST
Warren directly ties Iran airstrike to Trump’s impeachment
Presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) told a New Hampshire crowd that the timing of the airstrike that killed Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani was driven by “Donald Trump’s own political skin.”
“When Donald Trump had ... ordered the killing of Soleimani, there were a lot of questions about: Why now?” Warren said. “Does this have anything to do with the fact that Donald Trump is right on the eve of an impeachment hearing?”
By hearing, she likely meant the pending Senate trial.
Warren mentioned a passage from a Wall Street Journal article published Friday that said Trump felt pressured to take out Soleimani by hawkish GOP senators he sees as integral to his impeachment defense.
After her political event, Warren weighed in on Pelosi’s decision to send over the articles.
“I know that Nancy has a plan, and Nancy will have it figured out for all of us,” Warren said.
By Michelle Lee and Colby Itkowitz
January 10, 2020 at 1:45 PM EST
Susan Collins says she’s working with a group of GOP senators on allowing witnesses
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said she and a modest group of Republican senators are working together in an effort to allow witnesses be called at the Senate trial.
Many details about Collins’s effort, as reported by the Bangor Daily News, are unknown. Collins refused to provide any more information about the group but told Maine reporters Friday, “We should be completely open to calling witnesses.”
Collins has been among a small collection of GOP senators who have said they’d like to see House impeachment managers and White House lawyers have the opportunity to call witnesses. McConnell has refused to commit to doing so, saying that would be a decision the Senate could make after the trial is underway.
Collins, in a statement to The Post, would say only that she has “had many discussions with some of my Republican colleagues on how we can adhere as closely as practical to the precedent for conducting the impeachment trial of President Clinton, which included as a third stage the decision on whether to call witnesses.”
“I am hopeful that we can reach an agreement on how to proceed with the trial that will allow the opportunity for witnesses for both the House managers and the President’s counsel if they choose to do so,” she said. “It is important that both sides be treated fairly.”
By: Seung Min Kim and Colby Itkowitz
January 10, 2020 at 12:50 PM EST
Republicans taunt Pelosi for ‘caving’ on sending articles
GOP Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) gloated over the news that Pelosi is expected to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate.
“She’s caving and sending her Articles of Impeachment to the Senate without getting a single one of her absurd demands because her own party got fed up with her games,” Scalise tweeted. “What an embarrassment! This was a total waste of time. Dems aren’t serious.”
McConnell, when asked about it by a Fox News reporter, said, “about time,” a McConnell aide confirmed.
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), a Trump ally, also weighed in, tweeting: “There is no way to spin it: Speaker Pelosi and her Democrat Caucus spent weeks playing games with what is effectively their attempt at overturning an American election. This display was appalling. It is deeply, fundamentally unserious. And it always has been.”
And Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) tweeted: “Faced with our motion to dismiss for failure to prosecute her case, Pelosi caves.”
But those who defended Pelosi’s delay tactic said she succeeded by exposing McConnell’s unwillingness to have a “fair trial.”
By Colby Itkowitz
January 10, 2020 at 11:45 AM EST
Pelosi signals House will send articles of impeachment to Senate as soon as next week
Pelosi announced in a letter to Democratic colleagues that the House will consider a resolution next week to appoint impeachment managers and send articles of impeachment against Trump to the Senate.
“I have asked Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler to be prepared to bring to the Floor next week a resolution to appoint managers and transmit articles of impeachment to the Senate,” Pelosi said in the letter.
She said she would consult with colleagues on how to proceed during a House Democratic caucus meeting on Tuesday. The letter does not indicate which day next week the vote might occur.
The House voted Dec. 18 to impeach Trump on two charges — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
Pelosi has held the articles for more than three weeks as Democrats sought guarantees about the scope of a Senate trial, including witnesses. McConnell has made clear the Senate will move ahead with the trial without any resolution on witnesses.
By John Wagner and Mike DeBonis
January 10, 2020 at 11:25 AM EST
House concludes votes for the week
The House has concluded votes for the week, meaning the earliest the chamber could appoint House impeachment managers is Monday night.
That vote is needed to trigger the transmission of the articles of impeachment to the Senate for its trial.
House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) said there would be no votes before 6:30 p.m. on Monday.
By John Wagner
January 10, 2020 at 10:40 AM EST
Trump says Pelosi will be ‘least successful Speaker’ in history
Trump mocked Pelosi on Friday for allegedly getting the idea to delay sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate from a tactic that John Dean, counsel to President Richard Nixon during Watergate, suggested on CNN.
The anecdote, which appeared in a Time magazine profile of Pelosi, was attributed to an aide who suggested that Dean sparked the idea of holding onto the articles as a way to force McConnell’s hand.
Trump, a regular viewer of cable news who often repeats what he hears on Fox News, responded to a tweet about it from conservative commentator Mollie Hemingway.
“Oh dear that is embarrassing,” Hemingway tweeted.
Trump shared that tweet and added of Pelosi: “She will go down as perhaps the least successful Speaker in U.S. History!”
Democrats, who give Pelosi credit for shepherding through the Affordable Care Act in 2010 and for staying strong against Trump over funding the border wall during the 2019 government shutdown, may disagree.
By Colby Itkowitz
January 10, 2020 at 10:20 AM EST
Hoyer says he doesn’t know when articles will be sent to Senate
House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) told reporters Friday that he does not know when Pelosi will transmit the articles of impeachment to the Senate.
“I don’t know. You’ll have to ask her,” Hoyer said as the House prepared to wrap up its work for the week.
By Rachael Bade
January 10, 2020 at 9:55 AM EST
Pelosi says there will be no vote on impeachment managers Friday
Pelosi told reporters that she has no plans to hold a vote on Friday to appoint House impeachment managers, a move that would trigger the transmission of the articles of impeachment to the Senate.
“I’ll be communicating with my members, and perhaps we’ll see that,” she told reporters.
By Mike DeBonis
January 10, 2020 at 9:00 AM EST
Trump highlights views of GOP senators on Pelosi’s delay in transmitting articles
In a spate of retweets, Trump on Friday highlighted the views on impeachment and other issues of several Republican senators who will serve as his jury in a Senate trial.
“For months, House Democrats said @realDonaldTrump was a national security threat and that impeachment was urgent. Where’s that urgency now?” Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.) said in a tweet shared by Trump.
Trump also pointed to another of her tweets, which said the delay in transmitting articles “is an abuse of power & denies POTUS his day in court. Send it or end it!”
A tweet by Sen. David Perdue (Ga.) shared by Trump said Pelosi “is wasting the American people’s time.”
“@realDonaldTrump deserves his day in court & the Senate is ready to conduct a fair trial,” Perdue said.
By John Wagner
January 10, 2020 at 8:30 AM EST
Schiff highlights McConnell comments on witnesses during Clinton impeachment
As part of a continuing campaign by Democrats to have witnesses testify in a Senate trial, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) on Friday shared a video clip from two decades ago in which McConnell talked about the importance of witnesses in President Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial.
“A Senate trial should be like any other trial,” Schiff said in a tweet in which he shared the clip. “Senators should hear from witnesses. Senators should see the documents. Only then can they make the best possible decision regarding the President’s misconduct. Once upon a time, Mitch McConnell felt the same.”
The clip is from a McConnell appearance on “Larry King Live” on CNN.
“It is not unusual to have a witness in a trial,” McConnell says. “It is certainly not unusual to have a witness in an impeachment trial. … The House managers have only asked for three witnesses. I think that’s pretty modest.”
By John Wagner
January 10, 2020 at 7:45 AM EST
Sanders says McConnell trying to prevent witnesses who want to testify from appearing
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Friday accused McConnell of seeking to prevent witnesses who want to testify at a Senate trial from appearing.
“Last I heard, when you have a trial, you get witnesses, right?” Sanders, a Democratic presidential candidate, said during an appearance on NBC’s “Today” show. “It is astounding to me that we have Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, trying to prevent witnesses, some of whom want to testify, from being present in the trial.”
McConnell has rebuffed Democratic requests to guarantee certain witnesses will appear. Instead, he has said senators should vote on whether to hear from witnesses after hearing opening statements from House impeachment managers and lawyers for Trump and having an opportunity to submit questions to both sides.
Asked if he thinks Pelosi should go ahead and transmit the articles of impeachment, Sanders did not answer directly.
“I think now the responsibility is with McConnell, and I hope McConnell does what the American people want: Give a fair trial. That means we have witnesses who will testify.”
By John Wagner
January 10, 2020 at 7:30 AM EST
Senate awaits word from Pelosi on articles of impeachment
The Republican-controlled Senate awaited word Friday from Pelosi on when she would transmit the articles of impeachment against Trump, with some speculating she would announce her intentions by the end of the day.
McConnell predicted during a private lunch Thursday that Pelosi could send the articles of impeachment as soon as Friday — and told his colleagues to be ready for a trial to begin as soon as next week.
“She said it will be soon, and hopefully it will be soon,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) said after the GOP conference luncheon. “The speculation at lunch was that it will be this week, come over at the end of this week. … But we’re speculating.”
At a news conference earlier Thursday, Pelosi said she was still waiting for McConnell to unveil a resolution outlining the rules of a Senate trial, a step she said was necessary to inform her choice of House impeachment managers.
“We need to see the arena in which we are sending our managers. Is that too much to ask?” Pelosi said.
But Pelosi signaled she would not wait much longer.
“I’m not holding them indefinitely,” she added. “I’ll send them over when I’m ready. And that will probably be soon.”
The House approved two articles of impeachment — for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — three weeks ago.
By John Wagner and Elise Viebeck
January 10, 2020 at 7:15 AM EST
McCarthy says Pelosi ‘too embarrassed’ to send articles of impeachment
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) taunted Pelosi in a tweet Friday morning, saying she was “too embarrassed” to send articles of impeachment to the Senate.
“Democrats chose to push the thinnest, weakest impeachment in American history through the House,” McCarthy tweeted. “They didn’t do their homework and now Speaker Pelosi is too embarrassed to send their articles to the Senate.”
By John Wagner
January 10, 2020 at 6:30 AM EST
Republicans seek to highlight Democratic unease with Pelosi’s posture
Republicans sought Friday to keep a spotlight on Democrats who have broken with Pelosi by saying it is time to transmit the articles of impeachment to the Senate.
Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel went on Twitter early Friday morning to highlight a tweet from McConnell in which he claimed Pelosi was creating “bipartisan unity.”
“This is a challenging time to create bipartisan agreement,” McConnell wrote. “But Speaker Pelosi has managed to do the impossible. She has created growing bipartisan unity — in opposition to her own reckless games with impeachment.”
In fact, several Democrats who had questioned Pelosi’s strategy backed away from their comments on Thursday.
The most notable was House Armed Services Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.), who called on Pelosi to transmit the articles in a televised interview Thursday morning, only to reverse course within hours.
“I think it was perfectly advisable for the speaker to try to leverage that to try to get a better deal,” Smith said on CNN. “At this point it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.”
Shortly before Pelosi addressed reporters, Smith walked back his comments in a tweet, saying he “misspoke.”
By John Wagner
January 10, 2020 at 6:00 AM EST
Trump barely mentions impeachment at political rally in Ohio
At his first political rally of 2020, Trump spoke for nearly 90 minutes in Toledo on Thursday night but did not offer his regular defense of the circumstances surrounding his impeachment or weigh in on a Senate trial.
He made a few passing references to it but didn’t explicitly discuss it, focusing instead on his recent actions in Iran, as well as his normal attacks on Democrats and the media.
At one point while insulting Democrats, he said they were “wasting their time with demented hoaxes.” He said anyone else who had to deal with the investigations he had since taking office would “be in the corner with their thumb in their mouth saying, ‘Mommy, Mommy, take me home.’ ”
Later, during an aside, he blamed the “Squad” of four freshman congresswomen of color, for getting Democrats “into this impeachment hoax.” He then suggested that Pelosi was afraid of them.