(WASHINGTON) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday faced new pressure from Democrats to deliver the House impeachment articles to the Senate in order to begin President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, after a weeks-long standoff with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell over the terms of the Senate proceedings.
McConnell has refused to negotiate with Pelosi over witnesses, saying that the Senate would make a determination on adding additional evidence after opening arguments and questions from senators.
A growing number of Senate Democrats called on Pelosi to name impeachment managers to deliver the charges to the Senate, arguing that it would renew focus on Senate Republicans and any votes against subpoenaing witnesses and documents.
“We are reaching a point where the articles of impeachment should be sent,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., told reporters Wednesday.
“If we’re going to do it, she should send them over,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said. “I don’t see what good delay does.”
On Thursday, one of Pelosi’s top lieutenants, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith, D-Wash., appeared to break ranks with House leaders and call on Pelosi to send over the articles.
“At the end of the day like we control it in the House, Mitch McConnell controls it in the Senate. I think it was perfectly advisable for them to leverage that, get a better deal. At this point doesn’t look like that’s going to happen,” he said in an appearance on CNN. “And yes, I think it is time to send the impeachment to the Senate and let Mitch McConnell be responsible for the fairness of the trial.”
Smith completely reversed himself hours later on Twitter, instead saying that he supported Pelosi’s position.
I am concerned that Senator McConnell won’t have a fair trial and I am with the Speaker that we should do everything we can to ensure he does. Ultimately, I do want the articles sent to the Senate for the very simple reason that I want the impeachment process to go forward.
— Rep. Adam Smith (@RepAdamSmith) January 9, 2020
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