House Democrats on Thursday are supporting Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on her plan to delay forwarding the articles of impeachment to the Senate until chamber leaders have outlined the trial process.
"I think it gives her leverage," Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., a member of the House Intelligence Committee, told reporters at the Capitol, calling Pelosi's strategy "a very wise decision on her part."
"It gives the House leverage in terms of making sure that it's not going to be a kangaroo court over there," Speier added. "If, in fact, they intend to not be an impartial reviewer of the facts, then it becomes a joke.
"And we're not party to a joke."
President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., are calling for a speedy trial on the impeachment articles, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, approved Wednesday by the House.
McConnell this week rejected an outline from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., that proposed calling four testimony witnesses, including former National Security Adviser John Bolton and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.
But House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., bashed McConnell on Thursday for disclosures he would work with the White House during the trial, to be presided over by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.
"Mitch McConnell has a problem," Nadler told The Hill. "Mitch McConnell has said that he's going to work hand-and-glove with the White House.
"He has said that he's not a fair juror.
"I don't understand how he can possibly take the oath that he's required to take," Nadler said.
"Mitch McConnell, I think, has disqualified himself from taking the oath of participating."
While Pelosi has hinted any delay could be lengthy, possibly permanent, some Democrats discounted the latter idea promoted by some party members, The Hill reports.
"I would doubt that," Nadler said on any permanent delay.
"I don't think there's anything that the speaker said last night [to] suggest that this it's permanent," Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., told The Hill.
Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich., however, suggested the political risks of Democrats waiting too long.
"I don't think it's something we would want to drag out forever," he said, "but obviously it makes sense."
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