House Democratic leaders on Wednesday said they were not in a rush to hand off impeachment to the Senate, demanding a fair process.
“The question is now whether Senator McConnell will allow a fair trial in the Senate,” House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff said. “A trial that should be fair to the president, yes, but should be fair also to the American people.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the next step for the House — naming impeachment managers — cannot occur until they know what the process will look like in the next chamber. It’s unclear how long Democrats will hold the articles in the House.
“We cannot name managers until we see what the process is on the Senate side. … So far, we haven’t seen anything that looks fair to us,” the California Democrat said.
A delay in sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate raises a host of questions.
The House has the power to impeach, but it takes a Senate trial to convict and remove a president from office.
SEE ALSO: Donald Trump impeached by House in party-line vote
It was unclear how, or even whether, a delay would pressure the Senate to adopt Democrat-friendly procedures for a trial.
The move also appeared to run afoul of the Constitution that Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat, said she was protecting when pushing through the impeachment of Mr. Trump.
The Constitution says the Senate “shall have the sole power to try all impeachments.”
While House Democrats wouldn’t detail all of their criteria for how the Senate proceedings should unfold, Mrs. Pelosi said it’s not a fair process right now as Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is coordinating and “in cahoots” with the White House.
Both President Trump and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer have called for an extended trial with witnesses called to testify, but Mr. McConnell and Senate Judiciary Committee Lindsey Graham prefer to have a streamlined process.
The comments from Mrs. Pelosi and her committee chairs came immediately after Democrats voted to impeach the president on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
“I could not be more proud or more inspired by the moral courage of House Democrats. We never asked one of them how they were going to vote. We never whipped this vote,” the speaker said.
• Gabriella Muñoz can be reached at email@example.com.
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