Nancy Pelosi said on Tuesday that she plans to hold a vote on Wednesday that would officially send the articles of impeachment to the Senate, Axios reported. The House speaker told her fellow Democratic lawmakers in a private meeting that she would likely hold the vote to appoint impeachment managers, officially ending the stalemate that has stalled the impeachment process in Congress.
Pelosi has withheld the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump from the Senate — which prevents the upper chamber from moving forward with the impeachment process — in an effort to pressure Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell into agreeing to allow new witnesses and receive a range of relevant documents for the trial.
McConnell has refused to allow witnesses to testify who Democrats say are necessary for a full and fair trial. The majority leader has also suggested that he doesn’t intend to be impartial during the trial, saying that the process is a partisan endeavor.
Pelosi said recently that she felt she had to withhold the articles of impeachment because she wanted to make the public aware of what she sees as an unfair process in the Senate, The Inquisitr previously reported.
“What we think we accomplished in the past few weeks is that we wanted the public to see the need for witnesses,” Pelosi said. “Now the ball is in their court to either do that or pay the price.”
McConnell hasn’t agreed to allow witnesses for the trial and Trump is widely expected to be acquitted in the Senate, but Pelosi added that the decision to delay the process has achieved her goals.
“More importantly,” she said, “raising the profile of the fact that we need to have witnesses and documentation, and if we don’t, that is a cover-up.”
Republicans have criticized her effort.
By delaying impeachment trial, @SpeakerPelosi is putting her thumb on the scales of the 2020 primary. She is trying to help her friend Joe & keep Warren/Sanders as far away from Iowa/NH as possible. Revealing, once again, impeachment effort only motivated by politics. pic.twitter.com/acJSwsUk1A
— Jim Banks (@RepJimBanks) January 14, 2020
The California Democrat also recently said that whether Trump is removed from office or not, the stain of having been impeached will follow him for the rest of his life.
“This president is impeached for life regardless of any gamesmanship on the part of Mitch McConnell,” Pelosi said. “There is nothing the Senate can do to ever erase that.”
Pelosi didn’t say who the House would appoint to serve as impeachment managers during Tuesday’s meeting, but she did say that she believed McConnell would be held “accountable to the American people.”
Once the trial begins, the first few days will likely be a matter of process, performing housekeeping matters, like the swearing-in of Chief Justice John Roberts.