House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) doubled down on Monday, repeating her assertion she would not send the two articles of impeachment to the Senate and choose the House impeachment managers until she's assured the Senate will conduct a fair trial of the president.
“The House cannot choose our impeachment managers until we know what sort of trial the Senate will conduct,” Pelosi wrote in a tweet on Monday. “President Trump blocked his own witnesses and documents from the House, and from the American people, on phony complaints about the House process. What is his excuse now?”
Impeachment managers present the House's case for the impeachment of President Donald Trump during the Senate trial essentially acting as prosecutors. Pelosi refused to send the articles to the Senate following remarks by Senate GOP Leadership, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who stated there "would be no difference between the president's position and our position" and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) who stated he'd "written off the whole process" of impeachment several weeks ago as a "bunch of BS."
Democrats have so far held fast to the strategy in an attempt to get McConnell to allow witnesses be called. Senate Minority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has asked Republicans for a single resolution that would outline the rules for opening arguments as well as call witnesses such as former national security adviser John Bolton and acting White House Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, to testify about the July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelensky. Neither man testified during any of the House impeachment hearings.
During a floor speech on Thursday, McConnell declared they've reached an 'impasse' with Democrats over the rules governing the Senate trial of President Donald Trump, following his impeachment on Wednesday.
“We remain at an impasse, because my friend, the Democratic leader, continues to demand a new and different set of rules for President Trump,” McConnell said Thursday.
In the speech Thursday, McConnell said he wanted the Senate to follow the same rules from the Senate trial of then-President Bill Clinton. Those procedures included an agreement to hear the prosecution and then the defense arguments, and a later vote on whether any other witnesses were necessary.
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