Democratic leaders within the House of Representatives, having successfully impeached President Donald Trump on Wednesday evening, are considering putting a hold on passing the articles of impeachment along to the Senate until they can be assured of a fair trial from lawmakers in that legislative body.
“We will make our decision as to when we are going to send it when we see what they are doing on the Senate side. So far, we have not seen anything that looks fair to us,” Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday, per reporting from the New York Times.
Democrats want promises from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that new witnesses and evidence will be allowed to come forward during the trial. McConnell has indicated he wants a speedy process, and has said he is coordinating directly with the White House on an impeachment trial strategy, giving many the impression he will not be impartial juror when he eventually takes an oath promising to be during the hearings.
“We would be crazy to walk in there knowing he’s set up a kangaroo court,” House Majority Whip James Clyburn said on Thursday morning.
#3 House Dems he would hold Articles until promise of witnessespic.twitter.com/yqcU2EaATa
— John Berman (@JohnBerman) December 19, 2019
“If you have a pre-ordained outcome that’s negative to your actions, why walk into it? I’d much rather not take that chance,” he added, saying that the hold on impeachment articles could last indefinitely.
Some Republicans welcome the strategy by Democrats, including McConnell aide Josh Holmes, who said Democrats are happy to be “holding a grenade with the pin pulled rather than facing what happens when they send it over McConnell’s wall.”
Polling on the issue shows that, while Americans are divided on impeachment, more than 7-in-10 want the Senate trial to allow witnesses that Trump previously blocked to be heard.