House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Democrats may wait to send their articles of impeachment against President Trump to the GOP-controlled Senate, for fear that they are incapable of holding a fair trial.
Pelosi held a press conference on Wednesday following the House impeachment vote and was asked what would qualify as a “fair trial.”
“We’ll make a decision as a group, as we always have, as we go along,” she replied.
Pelosi was then asked about possibly withholding the articles of impeachment from the Senate until they get certain reassurances, and the Speaker refused to give a direct answer.
“Again, we’ll decide what that dynamic is, but we hope that the resolution of that process will be soon in the Senate,” she said.
Pelosi proceeded to read a statement from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., about impeachment procedure and used it as an example of what she considers to be an unfair process.
“Let me tell you what I don’t consider a fair trial,” she told the crowd of reporters. “This is what I don’t consider a fair trial — that Leader McConnell has stated that he’s not an impartial juror, that he’s going to take his cues, in quotes, from the White House, and he is working in total coordination with the White House counsel’s office.”
She finally deferred to the Senate as the final arbiter of Trump’s fate and accused the president of withholding vital documents from Congress.
“It’s up to the senators to make their own decision working together, hopefully in recognition of their witnesses that the president withheld from us, their documents that the president withheld from us and we would hope that that information would be available in a trial to go to the next step. Because that’s another level in terms of conviction, in terms of this,” Pelosi said. “But right now the president is impeached.”
The Speaker then repeatedly fended off questions about withholding the articles, before saying it would ultimately be a joint decision between the House and Senate.
“We will make our decision as to when we’re going to send — when we see what they’re doing on the Senate side, but that’s a decision that we will make jointly,” she said.
The impeachment vote total on the abuse-of-power count was 230–197, with Hawaii Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard voting present. The obstruction vote total was 229–198, with Gabbard also voting present on that count too.