Sen. Ted Cruz on Thursday said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s threat to delay forwarding President Trump’s impeachment to the Senate sounded more like a gift than a threat.
Mr. Cruz called her threat “really quite remarkable.”
“Her threat to the Senate is: Do exactly what I want or I’m not going to impeach the president, I’m not going to send over the impeachment articles,” the Texas Republican said to Fox News. “My attitude is, OK, throw us in that brier patch. Don’t send them. That’s all right. We actually have work to do.”
“Democrats are in a total panic,” he said.
House Democrats on Wednesday passed two articles of impeachment against Mr. Trump in party-line votes. Afterward, Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat, said she was delaying sending the articles to the Senate because she did not trust the Republican-run chamber to conduct a fair trial.
The House has the power to impeach, but it takes a Senate trial to convict and remove a president from office.
Mr. Trump is all but guaranteed acquittal by the Republican-run Senate, where it would take 20 GOP defectors for the Democrats to get the two-thirds majority vote required to convict him.
Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat, said that she thought Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was “in cahoots” with the White House.
She said she would hold on to the articles of impeachment until she was satisfied with the Senate procedures adopted for the trial.
It was unclear how, or even whether, a delay would pressure the Senate to adopt Democrat-friendly procedures for a trial.
“If Nancy wants to delay delivering the articles, I have a date I would suggest for her, a delivery date, how about Nov. 2, 2020?” Mr. Cruz said. “There is something going on then that actually should resolve this question.”