Jan 9, 2020

McConnell backs changing Senate rules over Pelosi impeachment delay

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has signed onto a resolution by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) seeking to change the rules of the Senate to dismiss articles of impeachment if they are not transmitted within 25 days of their approval — in this case, Jan. 12.

Why it matters: The constitutionality of such a move, which 12 other co-sponsors have signed onto, is not clear. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reiterated on Thursday that she is waiting to see what the Senate trial will look like before she names impeachment managers and transmits the articles.

  • McConnell has said he has the GOP votes to approve a resolution on trial rules without support from Democrats, and he has repeatedly criticized Pelosi for attempting to interfere with the Senate process.
  • The Senate would require a two-thirds majority in order to change the rules, unless McConnell were to invoke the "nuclear option" and decide the issue by a simple majority vote.

Between the lines: A senior Democratic aide told Axios last week that aside from the procedural and constitutional questions it raises, Hawley's resolution would likely be politically damaging for moderate Republicans — noting that polling shows a majority of Americans want Trump to let his top aides testify in the Senate trial.

Go deeper: Key GOP senators don't want to subpoena Bolton

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Pelosi signals she'll send impeachment articles to Senate next week

Photo: Michael Brochstein/Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a letter to colleagues Friday that she will ask House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler to "be prepared“ to name impeachment managers and send the articles of impeachment against President Trump to the Senate next week.

Why it matters: Her decision would potentially end a weeks-long standoff between Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell over the structure of the Senate trial — specifically whether new documents or witnesses would be allowed.

Go deeperArrowJan 10, 2020

Pelosi confirms House will vote to send impeachment articles on Wednesday

Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi confirmed in a statement Tuesday that the House will vote Wednesday on a resolution that would name impeachment managers and transmit the articles of impeachment against President Trump to the Senate.

Why it matters: The vote would end Pelosi's pressure campaign against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to allow additional documents and witnesses in the Senate's impeachment trial. McConnell said at a press conference that the trial will likely begin next Tuesday, with "housekeeping" measures like the swearing-in of senators taking place this week.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jan 14, 2020

What to expect this week as Pelosi prepares to send articles of impeachment

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

As she prepares to finally send over the articles of impeachment, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is warning there could be a "cover-up" to protect President Trump in the Republican-led Senate. Republicans, meanwhile, are testing ways to use the trial as a wedge issue on Democrats.

Driving the news: Pelosi is expected to name House managers this week after consulting with her caucus at a meeting on Tuesday morning. She'll deliver the articles shortly after, though the precise timing is still unclear.

Go deeperArrowJan 12, 2020