Fox News anchor Chris Wallace pressed Democratic Michigan Rep. Debbie Dingell about the fact that House Democrats have yet to send impeachment articles against President Donald Trump to the Senate for trial.
“If President Trump is such a threat, if this case is so urgent, why not send impeachment to the Senate right away?” Wallace asked on “Fox News Sunday” after playing clips of Democratic California Rep. Adam Schiff and others giving speeches during the House impeachment hearings about the supposed urgency of taking action.
Dingell responded by insisting the Senate would have never started the trial “before January 6th,” after the holidays. She also said “managers were not appointed until January 6th” at former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial.
Acknowledging the holiday delay, Wallace continued to press his point by bringing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi into the discussion. “Nancy Pelosi made it clear hoping to hold it up it is creating leverage to allow Chuck Schumer to make a deal with Mitch McConnell on the ground rules for the trial,” he said. “The question is, why does she think she has any leverage here? The president and top Republicans say she’s threatening to not give them something they don’t want anyway.”
Wallace added Harvard law professor Noah Feldman’s contention that the president isn’t actually impeached if it never reaches the Senate.
“So isn’t this almost the definition of an empty threat?” he asked.
“I don’t think it’s an empty threat, and I don’t like the word threat,” Dingell replied. “This is about our democracy. What we’re trying to do is make sure there is a fair trial.” (RELATED: ‘Honey We Shrunk The Impeachment’: Kimberley Strassel Explains How Dems Narrowed Charges To Protect Themselves)
Taking “one last crack” at the issue, Wallace asked Dingell about the House’s continued role: “The Constitution was very clear and very simple that impeachment is the sole purview of the House. It is equally clear, Article 1, Section 3 says this, the Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments. According to the founders, what happens in the Senate is none of you’re, you the House, is none of your business.”
“All people are doing is making sure it’s a fair trial,” Dingell insisted. “By the way, I read that very same part of the Constitution. It doesn’t say how quickly you have to move it from the House to the Senate. I think that you’re going to see it go sooner than, quite frankly, Mitch McConnell maybe even likes.”