Pelosi to send Trump impeachment articles to Senate next week

House Speaker tells Mitch McConnell that dismissing charges against president 'is a cover-up and deprives the American people of the truth'

Alex Woodward
New York
Friday 10 January 2020 13:30 GMT
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will send articles of impeachment to the Senate to begin Donald Trump's trial.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will send articles of impeachment to the Senate to begin Donald Trump's trial. (Getty)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will prepare a resolution to appoint managers and send articles of impeachment against Donald Trump to the Senate next week.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has threatened to coordinate with the White House as the president faces trial, and Speaker Pelosi refused to send impeachment articles passed by House Democrats without assurance from Senate Republicans that witnesses could be called and evidence be presented in an impartial trial.

In a statement announcing next week's plans, Ms Pelosi said "McConnell does not want to present witnesses and documents to Senators and the American people so they can make an independent judgment about the president's actions."

She said that "every senator now faces a choice: to be loyal to the president or the Constitution."

The standoff with Mr McConnell followed Republicans' repeated attempts to undermine the impeachment hearings around the president's abuses of power in dealings with Ukraine, which he is charged with having pressured to investigate his political rivals in exchange for military aid that the US withheld. He also is charged with obstruction as Congress attempted to subpoena and question members of his administration to no avail.

The majority leader also said he will support a resolution to consider dismissing the impeachment charges.

The House Speaker responded, saying: "If Republican Senators move for a quick dismissal of the charges against the president, with no witnesses or documents, it will be because they are afraid of the truth."

A move to begin assigning case managers and transmitting the articles to the Senate ends her gambit to force Senate Republicans, who had hoped for a speedy trial and acquittal as public support for impeachment continues, into setting rules for a fair trial, including testimony from new witnesses.

Mr McConnell said he has the votes to set rules for a trial, which he could start before he agrees to House standards.

In a Friday statement, Ms Pelosi said: "A dismissal is a cover-up and deprives the American people of the truth. Leader McConnell's tactics are a clear indication of the fear that he and President Trump have regarding the facts of the president's violations for which he was impeached."

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he will pressure Senate Republicans to consider a vote to subpoena new witnesses and documents, saying that every Senator will have to answer whether they want to participate in a fair trial.

Former National Security Adviser John Bolton, who has signalled his willingness to testify, could be among those witnesses. House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff said he doesn't intend to subpoena Mr Bolton for that committee, leaving his fate with the Senate.

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