The latest on President Trump's impeachment
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.
The House will vote today on the Iran War Powers resolution, which would direct President Trump to halt US military action related to Iran unless or until he comes to Congress for authorization.
This is a significant vote intended to send a message from House Democrats on a deadly serious issue that has enormous stakes.
What this means for impeachment: It would seem unlikely that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who has yet to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate, would want to do anything to step on that before that vote occurs.
Additionally, there's a measure in the Senate, introduced by Democrat Sen. Tim Kaine, which calls for the removal of US armed forces from hostilities with Iran not authorized by Congress. Senate Democrats are hoping to proceed quickly with it, and he told CNN yesterday that he hopes to see action on it in the Senate as soon as next week — although the timeline may be complicated by the impending impeachment trial.
You can follow live updates on the US-Iran crisis and today's House vote here.