Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. smiles while answering a reporter’s question at a news conference following a closed-door policy meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016. The Senate will take no action on anyone President Barack Obama nominates to fill the Supreme Court vacancy, Senator McConnell said as nearly all Republicans rallied behind his calls to leave the seat vacant for the next president to fill. His announcement came after Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee ruled out any hearing for an Obama pick. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
There has been a fiction manufactured on the left that the House of Representatives actually has any role left to play in the impeachment farce Adam Schiff has created. Following the advice of Laurence Tribe and other lackwits who are still living on their press releases from 40 years ago, the House has, thus far, declined to appoint impeachment ‘managers’ and to transmit the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate. While there is no Constitutional reason for the Senate to wait on either of those events to act, current Senate rules stipulate that a trial can’t take place until those events come to pass. That rule can be changed with 51 votes (some claim a rule change requires 2/3 vote for cloture but there seem to be adequate parliamentary maneuvers that would allow the rules to be modified with a majority vote) but there is no pressing reason for Mitch McConnell to do so. He clearly doesn’t want an impeachment trial to muck up the Senate’s schedule. And the longer the House holds onto the Articles of Impeachment, the more ridiculous the entire process looks.
Yet, somehow, Nancy Pelosi and her brain trust have convinced themselves that, by declining to act, they gain leverage that will enable them to tell the Senate how to conduct the trial. Their key demands are that witnesses and documents not available to Schiff be made available at the trial, that extensive testimony be given, and that GOP senators who have spoken on the subject of the ridiculousness of the Articles of Impeachment be ‘recused.’
Today, Mitch McConnell addressed the Senate and took that opportunity to let Nancy Pelosi know that any role she and the House had in this fiasco they created is now over.
This is from FoxNews:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, speaking from the chamber’s floor Friday, rejected House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s efforts to shape a pending impeachment trial as “fantasy”—leaving the process at a standstill as lawmakers return from the holiday recess.
“Their turn is over. They’ve done enough damage. It’s the Senate’s turn now to render sober judgment,” McConnell, R-Ky., said on the Senate floor.
McConnell called Pelosi’s effort to “hand-design” the proceedings in the Senate a “non-starter” and a “fantasy.”
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) January 3, 2020
Oops, I meant this:
“Let me clarify Senate rules and Senate history for those who may be confused. First, about this fantasy that the speaker of the House will get to hand design the trial proceedings in the Senate, that’s obviously a non-starter,” McConnell said in a Senate floor speech.
McConnell also defended his coordination with the White House over the trial.
“We’ve heard claims that it’s a problem that I’ve discussed trial mechanics with the White House even as my counterpart the Democratic Leader is openly coordinating political strategy with the Speaker, who some might call the prosecution. So it’s okay to have consultation with the prosecution, but not apparently with the defendant?”
McConnell made clear that he does not plan to move forward with a trial until the House transmits the articles.
“We can’t hold a trial without the articles,” he said, adding, “so for now we’re content to continue the ordinary business of the Senate” until the articles are sent.
McConnell on Friday criticized House Democrats for not having sent the impeachment articles to the Senate, accusing them of delaying for partisan reasons.
“As soon as the partisan impeachment votes had finished, the prosecutors began to develop cold feet. Instead of sending the articles to the Senate, they flinched,” McConnell said.
“The same people who just spent weeks screaming that impeachment was so serious and so urgent that it couldn’t wait for due process now decided it could wait indefinitely while they checked the political winds and looked for some new talking points,” the Majority leader said, adding, “as House Democrats continue their political delay, they’re searching desperately for some new talking points to help them deflect blame for what they’ve done.”
As much as I’d like to see the GOP really break this off in the Democrats. I like Josh Hawley’s idea of the Senate voting to dismiss the proceeding. I like the idea of amending rules to cover how to deal with a ploy like the one the House is currently pulling. But the smart play is to just drag this out knowing that every day we go into the primary process is a day that hurts the Democrats and makes the short shrift the Articles of Impeachment are going to receive look very reasonable and proper.