In the wake of a surprise decision from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in which she announced an indefinite delay of transmitting two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the U.S. Senate for a trial, Republican Sen. Roy Blunt doesn’t think she has the power to do that.
According to The Hill, Blunt made it clear on Sunday during CNN’s State of the Union that while he understands Pelosi wields great power in the lower chamber, she doesn’t have the authority to withhold the impeachment process from the Senate in order to negotiate a better rules package for Democrats.
“Frankly, I don’t think the speaker has the right to do this,” Blunt said. “I think it’s a mistake on the speaker’s part. I think this will look pretty political.”
Blunt also sided with his fellow Republicans in the House and indicated that he doesn’t believe the president is guilty of what Democrats are accusing him of in the two articles of impeachment — one for obstruction of Congress and one for abuse of power.
Doubling down on his defense of Trump and his Republican colleagues in the Senate, Blunt pointed out that it’s perfectly acceptable for GOP senators, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, to not be impartial jurors in the process, as a Senate trial is not a “trial” in the traditional sense of the word.
“This is called a trial because there was really in the Constitution, I think no better thing to call it,” Blunt said. “It’s not a trial in any classic sense. It is a political decision to do it.”
McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have traded jabs over the past several weeks and especially recently as the Senate trial nears, both unable to come to any solid agreement on a rules package that would be favorable for both Democrats and Republicans.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, both Senate leaders followed through with a planned meeting on Friday to begin hammering out some kind of foundation for what will eventually become the official rules of the Senate trial proceedings.
McConnell is pushing to use a similar set of rules that were used in the Senate trial of impeached former President Bill Clinton, while Schumer argues that given the circumstances of Trump’s impeachment, an entirely new set of rules are in order.
Unfortunately for everyone involved in the process, talks quickly broke down and the two high-ranking senators were seen exiting the meeting room after only 20 minutes.
After the short meeting, McConnell offered little in the way of comment before heading out for the Christmas and New Year’s recess.
“We remain at an impasse,” the Majority Leader said.
The Senate is expected to resume business as usual on January 3.