After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi held her weekly press conference this Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell praised her for managing to accomplish what many had previously thought impossible.
Asked about when, if ever, she intends to transmit President Donald Trump’s articles of impeachment to the GOP-led Senate, the House speaker proudly declared during the presser that she’ll send them over whenever the hell she feels like it.
“I’m not holding them indefinitely. I will send them over when I’m ready, and that will probably be soon … We want to see what they’re willing to do, and the manner in which they will do it,” she said.
The remarks seemingly irritated Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Republican:
Find yourself a woman who holds you as tight as Nancy Pelosi holds her impeachment articles.
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) January 9, 2020
Pelosi has sought to dictate what happens next in the impeachment process by trying to force McConnell to adopt her rules and subpoena her choice of witnesses.
But the argument by McConnell is she already had her chance and made her bed. With the articles of impeachment now formally approved because of Pelosi’s decision to rush the process, what happens next lies with his caucus, not hers.
Here’s the key: He’s not alone in feeling like this; Democrats do as well.
And so in a tweet posted only minutes after the conclusion of the House speaker’s presser, he mockingly praised her for spurring bipartisan agreement during a time otherwise laden with endless bickering and partisanship.
This is a challenging time to create bipartisan agreement. But the Speaker Pelosi has managed to do the impossible. She has created growing bipartisan unity — in opposition to her own reckless games with impeachment.
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) January 9, 2020
Politico confirmed Wednesday that several Senate Democrats have turned against Pelosi and are now demanding she cut the games and transmit the articles.
“Democrats’ hopes of swaying the GOP leader have dimmed after McConnell secured the votes in his caucus to move forward without an agreement on witnesses and documents,” the outlet confirmed Wednesday. “And Senate Democrats say it’s time to begin the trial and end the delay.”
“The longer it goes on the less urgent it becomes,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat, reportedly said. “So if it’s serious and urgent, send them over. If it isn’t, don’t send it over.”
Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat, reportedly added that House Democrats “should move on” from their stunts and just transmit the articles of impeachment to the Senate, while Sen. Jon Tester, another Democrat, added that he’s “ready” for the trial to start already.
“We need to get folks to testify and we need more information … but nonetheless, I’m ready,” he said. “I don’t know what leverage we have. It looks like the cake is already baked.”
“I respect the fact that she is concerned about the fact about whether or not there will be a fair trial. But I do think it is time to get on with it,” Sen. Chris Coons, another Democrat, concurred.
There’s a word for when Democrats and Republicans agree on an issue, and that word is bipartisanship. And the irony is that the very rare current bout of bipartisanship being seen in the Senate has been inspired entirely by Pelosi’s own partisanship.
More ironic still is that the House speaker has repeatedly suggested that the ones practicing partisanship are the Republicans, particularly McConnell:
The President & Sen. McConnell have run out of excuses. They must allow key witnesses to testify, and produce the documents Trump has blocked, so Americans can see the facts for themselves.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) January 6, 2020
Yet even some of her powerful colleagues in the House have come out against her.
“I understand what the speaker is trying to do, basically trying to use the leverage of that to work with Democratic and Republican senators to try to get a reasonable trial, a trial that would actually show evidence, bring out witnesses,” House Armed Services Committee chair Adam Smith said to CNN’s John Berman early Thursday.
“But at the end of the day, just like we control it in the House, Mitch McConnell controls it in the Senate. I think it was perfectly advisable for the speaker to try to leverage that to get a better deal. At this point, it doesn’t look like that is going to happen. And yes, I think it is time to send the impeachment to the Senate and let Mitch McConnell be responsible for the fairness of the trial. He ultimately is.”
Democrat Rep. Adam Smith, chair of the House Armed Services committee says Nancy Pelosi should stop delaying, send impeachment articles to Senate.
Pelosi has no leverage.
Her caucus is revolting. pic.twitter.com/LtMOYFSiAR
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) January 9, 2020
However, Smith soon after backtracked, presumably after the House speaker hit him with a death glare.
“I misspoke this morning,” he tweeted Thursday afternoon. “I do believe we should do everything we can to force the Senate to have a fair trial.”
Sure you do …
I misspoke this morning, I do believe we should do everything we can to force the Senate to have a fair trial. If the Speaker believes that holding on to the articles for a longer time will help force a fair trial in the Senate, then I wholeheartedly support that decision.
— Rep. Adam Smith (@RepAdamSmith) January 9, 2020
It’s not even clear where this concern about an unfair trial originates from, given as the only unfairness that’s been spotted thus far has occurred entirely in Pelosi’s own House ….
Watch the speaker’s full presser below:
Or tune in below for one of the presser’s more notable highlights:
Nancy Pelosi should have to take a breathalyzer before she speaks publicly. WTH was this analogy? pic.twitter.com/r4QadKeIKb
— ForAmerica (@ForAmerica) January 9, 2020
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