Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to sit on the articles of impeachment for a month is a “strange gambit” that “produced absolutely nothing.”
McConnell described Pelosi’s strategy Monday as a “one-woman blockade” of the impeachment trial on the floor of the Senate, Fox News reported.
Pelosi told ABC News’s “This Week” on Sunday that she had achieved a victory of sorts by withholding the documents and claimed that she never wanted to sit on the articles forever.
“I’ve always said I would send them over. There shouldn’t be any mystery to that,” she said. “What we did want though, and what we think we accomplished in the past few weeks is that we wanted the public to see the need for witnesses, witnesses with firsthand knowledge of what happened, documentation which the president has prevented from coming out to the Congress as we reviewed this.” (RELATED: Ted Cruz: Sitting On Impeachment Is ‘An Admission Of Failure’)
“It’s about a fair trial,” Pelosi said. “The senators who are thinking now about voting for witnesses or not, they will have to be accountable.”
“Now the ball is in their court to either do that or pay a price,” she added.
Pelosi began musing about withholding the impeachment articles from the Senate soon after the House voted to impeach President Donald Trump in December. (RELATED: ‘She Should Send Them Over’: Senate Democrats Want Pelosi To End Stalemate Of Impeachment Documents)
McConnell said earlier in January that he has enough votes to proceed with a Senate impeachment trial without having to call additional witnesses.
For the last month, Democrats have been less than precise about how long Pelosi should withhold the articles of impeachment. House Majority Whip James Clyburn suggested in December that the Speaker could withhold the documents indefinitely if she couldn’t guarantee a “fair” trial.
Before Pelosi announced her decision Friday to finally deliver the articles to the Senate, Democratic lawmakers were urging her to do so quickly, although some tried to backtrack. Democratic Washington Rep. Adam Smith, the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, retracted comments he made Thursday morning that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi should allow a trial to begin. Democratic California Sen. Dianne Feinstein also flip-flopped on her call for Pelosi to move forward.