Published: Mon, January 13, 2020
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Pelosi: McConnell will be held accountable if he tosses impeachment trial

Pelosi: McConnell will be held accountable if he tosses impeachment trial

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's decision to send articles of impeachment to the Senate ends her long standoff with Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, clearing the way for a Senate trial. "We're still confident in the impeachment and we think it's enough testimony to remove him from office".

"We're going to follow the Senate rules".

President Trump has now been impeached by the Democrats in the House of Representatives for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. A trial can not begin until the charges, known formally as articles of impeachment, are transmitted to the Senate.

In fact, in an extremely historic move, Trump released his transcripts of his July, 2019 conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

But McConnell - who, like Pelosi, is seen as a wily political strategist - refused to budge, announcing this week he had sufficient Republican votes to conduct a trial without acceding to Democratic demands. Democratic lawmakers have been pushing for Mr. McConnell to agree to more witness testimony but Mr. McConnell has insisted on sticking with the 1999 precedent from President Clinton's trial, where witness testimony was debated later in the proceedings. They called witnesses who had perceptions about Trump, but no real evidence. So, now the ball is in their court to either do that, or pay a price for not doing it, she said. He voted for impeachment and his name has been floated as a possibility, with other Democrats reportedly lining up to take part. Currently, the Senate has 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats and two independents. "Nancy Pelosi will go down as the least successful speaker of the House in the history of our nation", he said.

In recent days, a handful of Democrats voiced skepticism of Pelosi's plan, saying they will have more leverage to publicly pressure Republicans once the trial is underway.

The case against Trump is that he abused his power, by seeking investigations in Ukraine regarding a conspiracy theory about election interference and alleged corruption involving former vice-president Joe Biden, a rival at the polls in 2020, and then obstructed Congress in its attempts to investigate the affair.

'About time, ' McConnell told reporters on Capitol Hill in response to Pelosi's announcement.

"This phony Impeachment Hoax should not even be allowed to proceed". He and joined some Republicans in backing a proposal for votes to dismiss the charges against Trump.

The date is not yet certain and Pelosi will meet behind closed doors with House Democrats to decide next steps on Tuesday morning ahead of the party's presidential primary debate that evening, the last before the Iowa caucus February 3. "We are not ceding our constitutional authority to the partisan designs of the speaker".

"It's a positive result in terms of additional emails and un-redacted information that has come forward, that [former White House adviser John] Bolton has said that he would testify if subpoenaed by the Senate, other information that has come forward".

Pelosi was asked to respond to a tweet launched by Trump as the show aired.

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