McConnell, Pelosi give no signs of budging on impeachment
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.