McConnell, Pelosi give no signs of budg­ing on im­peach­ment

Orlando Sentinel - - NATION & WORLD -

WASH­ING­TON — Congress opened the new year with the Se­nate dead­locked over Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s im­peach­ment trial, leav­ing the pro­ceed­ings deeply in flux as Repub­li­cans refuse to bend to Demo­cratic de­mands for new wit­nesses.

Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Mitch McConnell showed no signs Fri­day of ne­go­ti­at­ing with the Democrats as he aims for Trump’s swift ac­quit­tal. At the same time, the Repub­li­can leader ac­knowl­edged the Se­nate can­not be­gin the his­toric un­der­tak­ing un­til House Speaker Nancy Pelosi de­liv­ers the ar­ti­cles of im­peach­ment — which she is re­fus­ing to do un­til he pro­vides de­tails on the trial’s scope. Nei­ther seems will­ing to budge.

“Their turn is over,” McConnell said about the Demo­cratic-led House. “It’s the Se­nate’s turn now to ren­der sober judg­ment as the framers in­tended.”

Pelosi re­sponded that McConnell’s stance “made clear that he will fee­bly com­ply with Pres­i­dent Trump’s cover-up of his abuses of power and be an ac­com­plice to that coverup.”

The House and Se­nate gaveled in for brief ses­sions Fri­day with the sud­den cri­sis in the Mid­dle East only adding to the un­cer­tainty about how law­mak­ers will pro­ceed with the im­peach­ment trial, only the third in U.S. history.

Trump was im­peached last month by the House on charges that he abused power and ob­structed Congress in his deal­ings with Ukraine.

Democrats be­lieve their de­mands for wit­nesses are bol­stered by new re­ports about Trump’s de­ci­sion to with­hold the aid and un­ease among some GOP sen­a­tors over the sit­u­a­tion.

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