Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi signaled that the articles of impeachment will be transmitted to the Senate as soon as next week. This announcement comes after holding off sending them in an attempt to press Senate Majority Leader McConnell to conduct a “fair trial” and invite witnesses. “I have asked Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler to be prepared to bring to the Floor next week a resolution to appoint managers and transmit articles of impeachment to the Senate,” said Pelosi on Friday.
The pressure on Pelosi to send the articles has been growing in recent weeks. Both Democrats and Republicans started expressing frustration over a fact that the vote on impeachment was rushed and then halted by Speaker’s refusal to move forward, creating uncertainty. “From the beginning, it’s been unclear what the goal of this hurry-up-and-wait tactic was or what the country stood to gain. We now know the answer was nothing,” said Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA). Several Democrats also called for the end of this standoff. “I respect the fact that she is concerned about the fact about whether or not there will be a fair trial. But I do think it is time to get on with it,” concluded Senator Chris Coons (D-DE).
McConnell, who recently backed a resolution that will allow dismissing impeachment if the House fails to submit the articles within 25 days, was pleased with Pelosi’s statement. “We’ve been anxious to get started … how many weeks has it been now?” he said in response to the announcement. He revealed earlier that he has enough votes to approve a set of rules similar to those used in Clinton’s case in 1999 for the impeachment trial. The rule will allow the Senate to vote on whether witnesses are needed only after the trial begins.