Even Democrats are getting tired of Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) impeachment delay games.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein called on her fellow California Democrat this week to end the stalemate over witnesses and send the House’s articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate. Pelosi has held onto the articles in an attempt to pressure Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to hold a trial on terms more favorable to her caucus, but Senate Democrats are losing patience with the maneuver, the New York Post reports.
“If we’re going to do it, she should send them over,” Feinstein said, according to Bloomberg. “I don’t see what good delay does.”
The impeachment stand-still
Impeachment has been at a standstill for three weeks since Pelosi said that she would withhold articles until McConnell could promise a “fair” process. The House speaker and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) have sought to pressure Republicans to expand the trial to include witness testimony from John Bolton, Mick Mulvaney, and others, as well as documents that they claim are relevant to the Ukraine matter.
Indeed, Schumer and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) have even taken to accusing Republicans of a “cover-up” by seeking a fast trial with few witnesses, and Bolton, Trump’s former National Security adviser, gave them a boost when he announced this week that he would be willing to testify in the Senate if called.
But there is little that Democrats can do other than complain after McConnell announced this week that he has the 51 votes needed to start a Senate trial with no agreement on witnesses, following the pattern set by Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial.
“The cake is already baked”
As the hold shows signs of cracking, a growing number of Senate Democrats are losing interest in the delay games. Feinstein joined Sens. Chris Murphy (D-CT), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and others who have said it’s time to move on, Fox News reported.
“The longer it goes on the less urgent it becomes,” Feinstein told Politico. “So if it’s serious and urgent, send them over. If it isn’t, don’t send it over.”
For his part, Sen. Schumer has vowed to keep up the pressure for witnesses, the Associated Press reported. But several Democrats who said they support Pelosi sending the articles over seemed to agree that there just isn’t any leverage to justify holding up the process.
“I don’t know what leverage we have,” Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) said, according to the New York Post. “It looks like the cake is already baked.”
Your turn is over, Pelosi
Pelosi is still waiting to see how McConnell would run the trial before making a decision, telling colleagues in a letter that McConnell must “immediately” reveal his plans, the AP reported. But McConnell has been very clear that he has no desire to spend any more time than necessary to get through the trial.
In a speech Wednesday, McConnell said that there would be “no haggling” and slammed Pelosi’s “endless appetite for these cynical games.”
“There will be no haggling with the House over Senate procedure,” McConnell said. “We will not cede our authority to try this impeachment. The House Democrats’ turn is over.”