Sen. Mitch McConnell calls Nancy Pelosi's decision to withhold articles of impeachment an 'absurd position'
Speaker Pelosi seems to think she can dictate the rules of a Senate impeachment trial, says Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
President Trump slammed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday for making demands of the Senate regarding his upcoming trial as she sits on two impeachment articles, accusing her of "crying for fairness" after leading an "unfair" process in the House.
Throughout the House Democrats' impeachment inquiry, Trump and fellow Republicans criticized elements of the process — including the initial closed-door sessions with witnesses, an invitation for him to participate in a hearing while he was overseas, and the decision to cite the president's assertion of executive privilege as evidence of obstruction as opposed to battling it out in court.
"Pelosi gives us the most unfair trial in the history of the U.S. Congress, and now she is crying for fairness in the Senate, and breaking all rules while doing so," Trump tweeted Monday morning. "She lost Congress once, she will do it again!"
Both chambers of Congress are engaged in an unusual battle over the next steps in the historic process after the House accused Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress for his actions concerning Ukraine, in the third-ever impeachment of an American president.
Pelosi is now indicating she will not turn over the articles of impeachment to the Senate or name impeachment managers until the upper chamber announces the process of how the trial will be conducted.
Coinciding with that position, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has demanded that the Senate be allowed to subpoena documents and witnesses who did not appear before the House. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., responded by saying that the Senate's role is not to do what the House failed to do during what he has called "the most rushed, least thorough, and most unfair impeachment inquiry in modern history."
Pelosi fired back Monday morning, tweeting: "The House cannot choose our impeachment managers until we know what sort of trial the Senate will conduct. President Trump blocked his own witnesses and documents from the House, and from the American people, on phony complaints about the House process. What is his excuse now?"
Pelosi has also faced criticism for pushing House Democrats to pursue articles of impeachment on a tight timetable, only to drop that sense of urgency after the final vote. McConnell has accused her and fellow Democrats of getting "cold feet."
Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., defended Pelosi on "Fox News Sunday," noting that President Bill Clinton was impeached in mid-December and managers were not appointed until Jan. 6 of the following year after the House returned from the holiday break. She suggested that the current process would not move any faster, even if Pelosi took swift action.
Earlier on the show, Marc Short, chief of staff for Vice President Pence, claimed that Pelosi would ultimately move forward and allow the Senate to conduct a trial.
"She will yield, there's no way she can hold this position," he predicted.