House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced to lawmakers Friday that she would be proceeding with sending the passed articles of impeachment over to the Senate until next week.
“I have asked Judiciary 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 wrote in a dear colleague letter.
Full @SpeakerPelosi letter to House Democrats teeing up votes to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate next week: pic.twitter.com/vnUueOx7UV
— Phil Mattingly (@Phil_Mattingly) January 10, 2020
The letter comes as even members of her own party began to amp up pressure on the House speaker to hand over the articles for an impeachment trial to begin.
Pelosi put a halt to impeachment proceedings after House Democrats passed two articles of impeachment against the president just days before Christmas. Instead of signing off on the articles to the upper chamber for a trial to begin, Pelosi has held the articles hostage in a desperate effort to extract concessions from Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on a how a trial will be run.
Pelosi joined by Democratic lawmakers have urged McConnell to pledge calling additional witnesses to testify in a Senate trial after weeks of hearings in the House failed to surface any incriminating evidence to indict the president. In turn, public support for impeachment has gone underwater dashing Democratic hopes of applying enough public pressure on enough Senate Republicans to turn against the president of their own party.
The House speaker maintained that she would pass off the articles to the Senate for the next phase of the impeachment trial once McConnell promised to bring new witnesses before Congress to testify, most notably former White House National Security Adviser John Bolton who recently agreed to testify if subpoenaed.
McConnell however, has dug in and refused to bow to Pelosi’s demands. On Thursday, McConnell endorsed a resolution proposed by Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley and co-sponsored by a dozen Senate Republicans to dismiss the case against the president without the articles of impeachment.
The speaker’s gamble was a risky move that did nothing but further undercut a key premise of the rushed proceedings from the House. By keeping the articles in her possession for weeks after their passage, Pelosi undermined Democratic claims that the president was a present and urgent danger to the republic, exposing the entire proceedings to be nothing more than the latest play to reverse the results of the 2016 election.