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Pelosi refusing to send impeachment charges to the Senate

Nancy Pelosi, (D) California.
Nancy Pelosi, (D) California.

'We remain at an impasse.'

Posted: Dec 19, 2019 3:22 PM
Updated: Dec 19, 2019 7:55 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress has headed home for the holidays leaving plans and a possible timeline for President Donald Trump's impeachment trial in disarray.

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi insisted Thursday that Senate Republicans must provide details on witnesses and testimony before she would send over the charges for Trump's trial. No deal, replied Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell after meeting with his Senate Democratic counterpart.

“We remain at an impasse," he said.

As darkness fell and lawmakers prepared to depart for the year, McConnell wondered from the Senate floor why in the world the Republicans should give ground to persuade House Democrats “to send us something we do not want.”

McConnell and the Democrats' Senate leader, Chuck Schumer of New York, met for about 20 minutes in their first attempt to negotiate the contours of an agreement on running the rare Senate impeachment trial that was expected to start in January.

McConnell favors a swift trial, without the new witnesses Democrats want, and he holds a clear tactical advantage if he can keep his 53-member Senate majority united. Schumer, who also met privately with Pelosi, has to bet that GOP senators won't hold the line and Republicans will peel away as public pressure mounts for a fuller trial.

For the record, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said he had met with Trump and “he is demanding his day in court.”

McConnell, who has drawn criticism for saying he won't be an impartial juror, said the Democrats were "too afraid'' to send the charges to the Senate, where Trump would be expected to be acquitted by the Republican majority.

We'll see, he said, “whether the House Democrats ever work up the courage to take their accusations to trial.”

Pelosi said that McConnell "says it's OK for the foreman of the jury to be in cahoots with the lawyers of the accused. That doesn't sound right to us."

Dismissing the idea that Democrats would hold off the proceeding indefinitely to prevent Trump from being acquitted, Schumer said there will almost certainly be a trial.

"There's an obligation under the Constitution to have a trial,” Schumer told The Associated Press.

He noted that even the Democratic senators campaigning for the party's presidential nomination, with early state voting starting in February, are prepared to return to Washington to sit for the days-long proceedings. “The Constitution requires it,” he said.

Wednesday night's House vote, almost entirely along party lines, made the president just the third in U.S. history to be impeached. The House impeached Trump on two charges — abusing his presidential power and obstructing Congress — stemming from his pressure on Ukraine to announce investigations of his political rival as Trump withheld U.S. aid.

Pelosi's procedural delay in taking the next step — apparently in search of leverage with Senate Republicans in locking in trial arrangements — threw a wrench into the expected timing.

“So far we haven’t seen anything that looks fair to us,” she had said Wednesday night. On Thursday at the Capitol, she said, “We'd like to see a fair process, but we'll see what they have and will be ready for whatever it is.”

Trump mocked on Twitter: “Now the Do Nothing Party want to Do Nothing with the Articles.”

Both parties said public opinion was with them after the House impeachment vote.

Trump claimed polling showed him leading all potential Democratic opponents for next fall's election.

Pelosi said, “We've been hearing from people all over the country. Seems like people have a spring in their step because the president was held accountable for his reckless behavior."

With elections in mind, Trump welcomed Democratic Rep. Jeff Van Drew into the GOP after the New Jersey freshman said he would be changing parties because he opposed impeachment.

Pelosi, pressed about next steps for impeachment, wouldn't say. She and her Democrats are insisting on more witnesses, testimony and documents than McConnell appears willing to provide before they name the House “managers” who would prosecute Trump in the Senate.

“The next thing will be when we see the process that is set forth in the Senate," Pelosi said. “Then we'll know the number of managers we may have to go forward and who we would choose.”

Not yet.

On the Senate floor, McConnell described the House actions against Trump as “the most rushed, least thorough and most unfair impeachment inquiry in modern history.”

Fighting back using McConnell's own words, Schumer said the Republican leader was plotting the "most rushed, least thorough and most unfair" impeachment trial in history by declining to agree to call witnesses, including former Trump national security adviser John Bolton, who declined to testify before the House.

“McConnell claimed the impeachment was motivated by partisan rage,” said Schumer. “This from the man who said proudly, ‘I am not impartial.'

"What hypocrisy.”

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Reported Deaths: 9606
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Hennepin1786832038
Ramsey739711046
Dakota67683587
Anoka64112577
Washington40545359
Stearns33631279
St. Louis29591409
Scott25994186
Wright25957217
Olmsted22339130
Sherburne19000127
Carver1670669
Clay12104105
Blue Earth1147970
Rice11451138
Crow Wing11213123
Chisago995379
Kandiyohi9815108
Otter Tail9813127
Benton9033125
Beltrami816997
Goodhue811798
Douglas7875101
Itasca772299
Mower733449
McLeod713084
Winona710258
Isanti700783
Steele685731
Morrison672879
Becker628574
Polk603187
Freeborn561246
Carlton546974
Mille Lacs532479
Lyon528461
Nobles525054
Nicollet522460
Pine515043
Cass501253
Todd492843
Brown470759
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Meeker433458
Martin386544
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Renville268451
Faribault258233
Sibley252317
Pennington252130
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Aitkin222450
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Rock177729
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Swift173123
Stevens167511
Jackson161016
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Marshall153522
Murray151811
Pipestone149729
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Wilkin121116
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Norman10509
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Kittson73223
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Traverse6056
Unassigned545124
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Cook3071

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 525758

Reported Deaths: 7379
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk81677809
Linn32838430
Scott27126295
Black Hawk22334382
Woodbury20736263
Johnson20150108
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Pottawattamie16215214
Dallas15573115
Story1398059
Warren8637107
Cerro Gordo8141125
Clinton7928115
Webster7419124
Des Moines7153106
Marshall675494
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Jasper630591
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Lee5977106
Marion567697
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Jones413564
Bremer403873
Boone397042
Washington395464
Carroll373355
Mahaska372366
Crawford355647
Jackson324047
Dickinson317555
Buchanan312743
Delaware303255
Clay297636
Kossuth293477
Fayette290356
Hardin289253
Tama282878
Page276133
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Butler237346
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