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Politics Republicans eye push to condemn Pelosi for delaying impeachment trial

22:50  09 january  2020
22:50  09 january  2020 Source:   politico.com

Senate Republican predicts impeachment trial ends by State of the Union

  Senate Republican predicts impeachment trial ends by State of the Union Sen. Roy Blunt (Mo.), a member of GOP leadership, said on Tuesday that he expects President Trump's impeachment trial will be over by a State of the Union speech scheduled for early February. Blunt, the No. 4 Senate Republican, told KSSZ, a Missouri radio station, that the expected that the Senate trial would be "pretty predictable" and happen "quickly." "My guess is we'll be done with this by the time the president comes," Blunt said. House"My guess is we'll be done with this by the time the president comes," Blunt said.

House Republicans are exploring efforts to formally condemn Speaker Nancy Pelosi for withholding impeachment articles from the Senate, eager to whack Democrats who are increasingly divided on the issue.

Bradley Byrne wearing a suit and tie: Rep. Bradley Byrne.© Samuel Corum/Getty Images Rep. Bradley Byrne.

GOP Rep. Bradley Byrne, who is running for an Alabama Senate seat, introduced a censure resolution on Thursday morning to rebuke Pelosi for hanging on to the articles of impeachment since December. Republicans have the option to force a floor vote on the measure though Democrats would surely move to table it, just as they did with a censure resolution against House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.).

Pelosi: Republicans 'have run out of excuses' to block impeachment trial witnesses after Bolton offer to testify

  Pelosi: Republicans 'have run out of excuses' to block impeachment trial witnesses after Bolton offer to testify Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi hailed news that former national security adviser John Bolton said he would testify during President Trump's impeachment trial by urging Republicans to allow witnesses at the Senate-run event. © Provided by Washington Examiner"The President & Sen. McConnell have run out of excuses," the California Democrat tweeted Monday. "They must allow key witnesses to testify, and produce the documents Trump has blocked, so Americans can see the facts for themselves." She added, "The Senate cannot be complicit in the President's cover-up." The President & Sen. McConnell have run out of excuses.

“Speaker Pelosi’s decision to hold the articles of impeachment against President Trump in a pathetic and unconstitutional attempt to extract concessions from the Senate is an unprecedented abuse of power,” Byrne said in a statement.

And Rep. Morgan Griffith, a member of the hard-line Freedom Caucus, raised a series of parliamentary inquiries on the House floor to increase scrutiny on Pelosi. The Virginia Republican asked whether there is any precedent for Pelosi sitting on the impeachment articles and if there is any action the House can take “since the speaker has not been able to physically do an essential part of her administrative duties.”

Eleven Senate Republicans co-sponsor resolution to dismiss impeachment articles against Trump

  Eleven Senate Republicans co-sponsor resolution to dismiss impeachment articles against Trump Nearly a dozen Senate Republicans have put forth a resolution that, if passed, would seek to dismiss articles of impeachment against President Trump immediately. © Provided by Washington Examiner"The Constitution gives the Senate sole power to adjudicate articles of impeachment, not the House," said Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley, who introduced the resolution, in a statement Monday. "If Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi is afraid to try her case, the articles should be dismissed for failure to prosecute and Congress should get back to doing the people’s business.

The lawmaker presiding over the House floor rebuffed his questions, saying they were improper inquiries.

Pelosi, meanwhile, is entirely unmoved by the criticism from the GOP or the complaints coming from those in her own party. While some Senate Democrats are starting to get antsy over the delay in an impeachment trial, the speaker has remained steadfast that she won’t transmit the articles until she sees the Senate GOP’s impeachment trial rules. Most House Democrats have applauded her push to keep the narrative focused on a fair and comprehensive trial.

“I’ll send them over when I’m ready,” Pelosi said at her weekly news conference. “And that’ll probably be soon.”

The rising focus on Pelosi in recent days has pushed Republicans to quietly weigh potential legislative maneuvers — such as crafting a previous question motion — to force Pelosi’s hand. The GOP’s desire to turn up the heat on the speaker reflects a broad feeling in the Republican conference that they are on the winning side of this particular messaging battle.

McConnell says he has enough Republican votes to begin Trump's trial without witnesses

  McConnell says he has enough Republican votes to begin Trump's trial without witnesses The process cannot get started until Nancy Pelosi sends the House-passed articles to the Senate."We have the votes once the impeachment trial has begun to pass a resolution — essentially the same as, very similar to, the 100-to-nothing vote in the Clinton trial," McConnell told reporters.

And while no House Republicans support impeachment, they know Trump has been anxious to be vindicated in a Senate trial and are eager to give him what he wants.

Ultimately, there is little Republicans can do from a procedural standpoint, other than try to force a vote on the censure resolution. And the House’s impeachment rules indeed grant Pelosi the power to submit the articles and name impeachment managers at a time of her choosing.

Still, Republicans are eager to frame the debate as Democrats just being too afraid to make their argument to the GOP-controlled Senate, where Trump is expected to be acquitted of charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress in the Ukraine inquiry.

“She has the gall to say she wants to determine what happens in the Senate? Maybe she is more concerned that her case is so weak,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told reporters. “The speaker does not have the power to continue to hold.”

Grassley pins blame on USMCA hold-up on impeachment .
The Senate trial could begin almost immediately after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell receives the articles.“After House Democrats delayed passing the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement for nearly a year, the speaker’s indecision on impeachment will now keep the trade deal from being ratified for even longer,” Grassley said in a statement.

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