- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 29, 2019

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise said Speaker Nancy Pelosi has no grounds to withhold the articles of impeachment from the Senate as the standoff between the two chambers continues.

“It’s her duty to turn it over. It’s not some mechanism she can control,” he said on Fox News Sunday.

Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat, refused to send the two articles — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — to the Senate until Majority Leader Mitch McConnell lays out how he will run the trial.

She and fellow top Democrat, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, are demanding that more documents and White House officials that were blocked in the House investigation be allowed to testify.

Mr. McConnell, on the other hand, said last week there could be witnesses, but only after opening arguments are made. In the meantime, he said the entire process is stalled until the Senate receives the articles from Mrs. Pelosi.

Mr. Scalise, Louisiana Republican, told Fox News that the delay shows Democrats’ hand on impeachment.

“They had a weak case. I think she knows they had a weak case,” he said. “This is not what our founders intended impeachment to be used for.”

House Democrats, however, are standing with the speaker, even without a clear timeline of when the articles may be sent over. The standoff could potentially last for weeks after the holiday break.

“I think the Speaker is doing everything she can to ensure that there is as fair and open and transparent a process as there can be, particularly given the weight of the evidence,” Massachusetts Democrat Rep. Joe Kennedy said on CNN.

“You don’t go through the first part in the House and then just tee this up for a Senate process where the guy who is going to be in charge of orchestrating the entire Senate trial has said that the whole thing is already baked and cooked and there’s nothing anybody can do about it. You don’t go and do that. That makes a mockery of the entire system,” he added.

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