Dec 20, 2019 - Politics & Policy

House Democrats delay delivery of Trump articles of impeachment to Senate

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

It'll be weeks before there's a Senate impeachment trial, after Congress left for Christmas without the House sending the articles of impeachment across the Capitol to trigger a trial.

The state of play: Speaker Nancy Pelosi still hasn't named House managers, which means the articles likely won't be sent to the Senate until after Congress returns from recess on Jan. 7.

  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had initially hoped to begin the Senate trial immediately upon returning from recess. This all but guarantees that will not happen.
  • Meanwhile, President Trump has been strategizing internally with his counsel about what they can do if Pelosi decides to hang onto the articles for an extended period.

Why it matters: Some House Dems floated delaying delivery of the articles as a way to push for more favorable terms for the Senate trial.

  • McConnell said on the floor yesterday: "Some House Democrats imply they are withholding the articles for some kind of 'leverage' so they can dictate the Senate process to senators. I admit, I'm not sure what 'leverage' there is in refraining from sending us something we do not want!"

The bottom line: Pelosi has signaled that she doesn't plan a long standoff with the Senate.

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