House Majority Whip James Clyburn is willing to sit on the Articles of Impeachment forever if necessary to wait for the Senate to offer a “fair” trial.
Democratic South Carolina Rep. Clyburn told CNN Thursday that the Democrats are prepared to bide their time for “as long as it takes. Even if [Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell] doesn’t come around to committing to a fair trial, keep those articles here. So keep it as long as it takes. If you know and he’s told you what he’s going to do, let’s give him a fair trial and hang him. It’s the reverse of that.” (RELATED: Mitch McConnell: If Impeachment Trial Were Held Today ‘It Would Not Lead To Removal’)
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi began talking about withholding the articles almost as soon as the House had voted along party lines to impeach the president.
When asked if that literally meant “it’s possible you will never transmit the articles of impeachment,” Clyburn responded, “If it were me, yes, that’s what I’m saying. I have no idea what the speaker will do. But if you have a preordained outcome that’s negative to your actions, why walk into it? I’d much rather not take that chance.”
Clyburn was shown a clip of Pelsoi backing away from the impeachment process, stating: “We cannot name managers until we see what the process is on the Senate side, and I would hope that that will be soon as we did with our legislation, our resolution 660, to describe what the process would be. So far we haven’t seen anything that looks fair to us. Hopefully it will be fair.”
Clyburn explained that the delay ”is made necessary” because Republicans in the Senate have indicated that they have already made up their minds about the impeachment question.
Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham has indicted that he wants impeachment to “die quickly” in the Senate in order for the federal government and the country to move on to other issues.(RELATED: ‘Incredibly Dangerous’: Lindsey Graham Blasts Democrats For Proposing To Hold Up Impeachment Trial)
But Clyburn even referred to collusion to describe McConnell’s expressed intent “that he’s not going to be impartial. He’s not going to be fair. He will collude, if you please, with the White House.”
Despite impeachment being described by many Democrats as an urgent need, the congressman is in complete agreement with Pelosi’ strategy. “I applaud her for this. In fact, I was one of the ones arguing that this ought to be the case,” he told CNN.
At a Thursday news conference, Pelosi suggested impeachment had brought a new day of hope for Americans and a “spring” in their step — though she quickly told reporters that she didn’t want to talk about the issue anymore.