House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reportedly got the idea to withhold articles of impeachment from the U.S. senate while watching CNN, according to a Time Magazine profile of the speaker published Thursday.
Pelosi heard former White House counsel and Watergate star witness John Dean during an early December CNN appearance, according to Time, where Dean floated the idea of withholding impeachment articles against the president. (RELATED: The Tide Is Turning Against Democrats On Impeachment)
The Time profile titled: “Why Nancy Pelosi Is Going All In Against Trump” stated:
Pelosi, according to an aide, had been mulling the tactic since she heard former Nixon White House counsel John Dean float the idea on CNN on Dec. 5. In the committee meeting, she added that she believed McConnell would be motivated to move. “Somebody said to me today that he may not even take up what we send. [But] then [Trump] will never be vindicated,” she said, according to the aide in the room. “He will be impeached forever. Forever. No matter what the Senate does.”
House Democrats impeached Trump last month in the first party line impeachment vote in U.S. history, but Pelosi has held out on sending the articles to the senate in hopes of gaining leverage over the trial.
Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York has asked Republicans to allow the testimony of several key witnesses he believes are privy to the decision the president made to withhold Ukrainian aid over the Summer. However, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has said that he has the votes to begin the trial before calling witnesses, and has suggested that Pelosi has no leverage to withhold the articles.