The latest on President Trump's impeachment
As she wrapped up her weekly news conference, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was asked if she would attend the San Francisco 49ers' NFL playoff game this weekend.
"It would be my intention to go," she said. "I have, unfortunately, responsibilities to save our country from peril."
Some in the briefing room laughed at the remark. Pelosi did not elaborate on what "peril" exactly means.
Tensions between the US and Iran escalated this week following a US airstrike that killed Iran's top general. The House is expected to vote today on legislation that could restrain Trump's ability to launch military action against Iran.
Meanwhile, Pelosi is also holding onto the articles of impeachment against President Trump. She has not yet sent them to the Senate, which will hold a trial and determine if he should be removed from office after the articles are formally transmitted.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was just asked if she plans to hold the articles of impeachment "indefinitely."
Here's how she responded:
"No, I'm not withholding them indefinitely. I'll send them over when I'm ready. And that will probably be soon."
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi repeated some Democrats' request that the Senate outline its protocols for the impeachment trial before she formally transmit the articles over.
"Now, in terms of impeachment, you all keep asking me the same question, and I keep giving you the same answer," she said.
Pelosi has given no indication for when she could send the articles of impeachment over. Lawmakers close to Pelosi insist they have been given no sense of when she will tee up the vote on the House managers to transmit the articles to the Senate.
"As I said right from the start, we need to see the arena in which we're sending our managers. Is that too much to ask?" she asked at a news conference today.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will have her weekly news conference at 10:45 a.m. ET. Reporters will likely ask her questions about the articles of impeachment, which the House has approved but not yet sent to the Senate.
Lawmakers close to Pelosi insist they have been given no sense of when Pelosi will tee up the vote on the House managers to transmit the articles to the Senate.
However, in the words of one senior House Democrat: “We’re all working under the assumption it’s coming this week.”
Rep. Adam Smith, a Democrat from Washington state, has walked back his comments about the timing of the articles of impeachment handover.
On CNN's "New Day" earlier this morning, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee said he believed it was time to send the articles to the Senate.
"I do believe we should do everything we can to force the Senate to have a fair trial. If the Speaker believes that holding on to the articles for a longer time will help force a fair trial in the Senate, then I wholeheartedly support that decision," he tweeted now/
Here are his tweets:
Rep. Ben McAdams of Utah, a freshman from a swing district, told CNN: “I think it’s time” to send over the articles.
Two key House Democrats indicated today there was not going to be an indefinite delay to turning over the articles of impeachment, signaling they were close to being sent over to the Senate.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said, “no,” there won’t be an indefinite delay.
And Rep. Jamie Raskin, a member of the House Judiciary committee, defended House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s strategy on holding the articles thus far, but said:
“There can’t be an indefinite delay. Obviously there’s a constitutional and political clock ticking at this point. We’re very eager to see that things move forward. Our report accompanying the articles of impeachment says the President constitutes a clear and present danger to American constitutional system ... We have to move forward on a basis that does justice to what the Constitution provides.”
The Senate doesn't have the articles of impeachment yet: While the House passed two articles last month, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi hasn't formally transmitted them to the Senate, which means the looming impeachment trial has not yet been set.
So what's Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell doing in the meantime? Publicly, he's taking the Senate floor each day to lambaste Pelosi and Democrats for not sending over the articles of impeachment.
However, he's also working in a detailed manner behind the scenes to tee up the looming trial.
He’s methodically walked through, and brought along, his conference for months now on the trial structure he prefers, using briefings, presentations and one-on-one meetings and calls, according to multiple senators — and now every member of his conference is on board.
In a much quieter fashion, he’s done the same thing with President Trump, people familiar with their conversations say, in regular phone calls and some in-person meetings. He’s made his points on the trial structure he wants to see, on the drawbacks, in his view, that calling witnesses may have for the President and made clear the President’s defense team should be geared around ensuring Republican senators are comfortable with what they’re seeing and hearing on the floor, not Fox News hosts.
The impasse over the articles of impeachment continues, and lawmakers close to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi insist they have been given no sense of when she will transmit the articles to the Senate.
That said, here are four events were watching today:
- 10:45 a.m. ET: Pelosi will take questions at her weekly news conference. Reporters will likely ask her about the impeachment articles.
- 11 a.m. ET: President Trump will announce new proposed National Environmental Policy Act regulations. It's not clear if he'll mention impeachment at this event.
- 11:30 a.m. ET: House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy will hold his news press conference.
- 7 p.m. ET: Trump will host a rally in Toledo, Ohio.