WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Democrats are delaying the presidential impeachment trial, drawing criticism from Republican lawmakers.
The House of Representatives voted Wednesday to impeach President Trump but the decision doesn’t remove him from office. That will be determined by the Senate.
It’s now unclear when the articles of impeachment will be delivered to the Senate.
“They said impeachment was so urgent that it could not even wait for due process but now they’re content to sit on their hands,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
Other lawmakers pointed fingers at Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
“Now we have the own speaker of the House who is so embarrassed that she admits the failure of this impeachment that she will not even send it to the Senate,” said Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).
Pelosi fired back, saying “I don’t care what the Republicans say.”
The House speaker said she’s waiting to decide which members of the House will present the case in the Senate trial. But Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer said holding the articles is strategic.
“[It’s] an opportunity to try to get a fair process,” he said. “McConnell is already working hand-in-glove with the White House and there’s no agreement on critical witnesses.”
The timing matters because once the articles of impeachment are delivered, the Constitution requires a Senate trial to begin the next day.
Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) said the burden of proof is on House Democrats who must “actually convince the Senate for removal from office. So far, I have not seen that.”
The Republican majority in the Senate will also decide the trial process and could call additional witnesses or request more documents before they take their own vote on whether to remove Trump from office.