GOP Rep. Bradley Byrne of Alabama offered a resolution on Thursday censuring House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her failure to transmit the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate for a trial.
“Speaker Pelosi’s decision to hold the articles of impeachment against President Trump in a pathetic and unconstitutional attempt to extract concessions from the Senate is an unprecedented abuse of power,” Byrne said in a statement introducing his resolution, according to a news release from his office.
“House Democrats made the misguided decision to rush through the most legally unsound and factually unsupported articles of impeachment in the history of this country, and they can’t now insist that the Senate fix their shoddy, incomplete work,” he added.
Speaker Pelosi ramrodded her articles to impeach @realDonaldTrump through the House because it was “urgent”, but she continued to hold the articles. She totally abused her power for pure politics, so I’ve introduced a resolution to censure her. https://t.co/7ntNQRCMwO
— Rep. Bradley Byrne (@RepByrne) January 9, 2020
The charge echoes the allegation Democrats made against Trump. In their articles of impeachment, the lawmakers accused Trump of abusing his authority as president by delaying the release of military aid to the Ukraine following his request for an inquiry into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden’s dealings in the country.
Byrne’s resolution reads, in part, that “Pelosi in her capacity as Speaker of the House is preventing the House from naming managers in an attempt to extort concessions from the Senate on the conduct of the impeachment trial against President Donald John Trump.”
The congressman said regarding his resolution, “Pelosi, [House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam] Schiff, and [House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold] Nadler must do as our founders intended and present the lackluster case they assembled to the Senate and let the President finally exercise his right to defend himself.”
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“Until then, the leader of this attempt to throw out Constitutional norms to remove our president must be held accountable.”
Pelosi has refused to transmit the two articles of impeachment against Trump to the Senate since they passed on Dec. 18 with no Republican support and three Democrats not backing one or both of the measures.
The speaker told reporters on Capitol Hill on Thursday, “As I said right from the start, we need to see the arena in which we are sending our managers. Is that too much to ask?”
“But nonetheless, at some point we would hope that we would see from them what the terms of engagement will be,” she added. “We are ready.”
“We are concerned that the Senators will not be able to live up to the oath that they must take to have an impartial trial.”
Asked if she planned to hold on to the impeachment articles indefinitely, Pelosi responded that she did not.
“I’ll send them over when I’m ready,” the speaker said. “That will probably be soon.”
Some Democratic senators have called for Pelosi to send the articles.
“The longer it goes on, the less urgent it becomes,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein told Politico. “So if it’s serious and urgent, send them over. If it isn’t, don’t send it over.”
Fox News reported Sens. Angus King of Maine, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Chris Coons of Delaware “have also come out this week calling for the process to move along.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tweeted on Wednesday that a majority in the Senate have agreed to follow the precedent set by the first phase of the impeachment trial for President Bill Clinton in 1999.
During that trial, the Senate agreed to hear the House managers make their case and the president’s team make its defense, and then decided whether additional witnesses would be called.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer wants additional witnesses to testify, including acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and former National Security Advisor John Bolton.
McConnell tweeted on Friday that Pelosi, by withholding the articles of impeachment, has brought Republicans and Democrats together.
This is a challenging time to create bipartisan agreement. But the Speaker Pelosi has managed to do the impossible. She has created growing bipartisan unity — in opposition to her own reckless games with impeachment.
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) January 9, 2020
“This is a challenging time to create bipartisan agreement,” the majority leader wrote. “But the Speaker Pelosi has managed to do the impossible. She has created growing bipartisan unity — in opposition to her own reckless games with impeachment.”
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