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Pelosi Says She’ll Likely Send Articles Soon: Impeachment Update

Bloomberg logo Bloomberg 1/9/2020 Billy House
Nancy Pelosi looking towards the camera: WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 19: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, (D-CA) listens during a press conference with House Democrats held to highlight the legislative accomplishments of the year on December 19, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images) © Photographer: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images North America WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 19: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, (D-CA) listens during a press conference with House Democrats held to highlight the legislative accomplishments of the year on December 19, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi held her weekly news conference Thursday amid the standoff over sending the impeachment charges against President Donald Trump to the Senate.

Here are the latest developments:

Pelosi Says She’ll Likely Send Articles ‘Soon’ (11:14 a.m.)

Pelosi said she’ll probably send the impeachment articles to the House “soon.”

“No, I’m not holding them indefinitely,” the speaker said. “I’ll send them when I’m ready. That will probably be soon.”

Pelosi Waiting for McConnell on Trial Rules (11:10 a.m.)

Pelosi said she’s sticking to her plan to delay sending the impeachment articles to the Senate until Republicans disclose how they plan to conduct the trial.

“At some point we would hope that we would see from them what the terms of engagement will be,“ Pelosi told reporters at her weekly news conference Thursday. “We are ready.”

“They might want to dismiss -- dismiss equals cover-up,“ she said. “We are concerned that the senators will not be able to live up to the oath that they will take to have an impartial trial.”

Democrat ‘Misspoke,’ Backs Pelosi on Delay (10:38 a.m.)

House Armed Services Chairman Adam Smith is walking back his comments earlier Thursday that called on Speaker Nancy Pelosi to send the impeachment articles to the Senate and allow a trial to begin.

“I misspoke this morning, I do believe we should do everything we can to force the Senate to have a fair trial,” the Washington Democrat said on Twitter. “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.”

Earlier Thursday, Smith said on CNN that it was time to send the articles to the Senate and let Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “be responsible for the fairness of the trial.”

Pelosi has faced calls from several Senate Democrats to end the delay. She has said she’s waiting to send the articles until she sees the Senate’s planned trial procedures. Senate Democrats Dianne Feinstein of California and Chris Murphy of Connecticut are among those who have said it’s time to start the trial.

McConnell, on the Senate floor Thursday morning, again hammered Pelosi for withholding the articles.

”If the speaker continues to refuse to take her own accusations to trial, the Senate will move forward next week with the business of the people,” McConnell said, possibly including the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement.

Top House Democrat Says It’s Time for Trial (7:55 a.m.)

House Armed Services Chairman Adam Smith added his name to the list of Democrats publicly urging Speaker Nancy Pelosi to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate.

“I understand what the speaker is trying to do,” Smith told CNN Thursday of the delay. Pelosi is “basically trying to use the leverage of that to work with Democratic and Republican senators to try to get a reasonable trial, a trial that would actually show evidence and bring out witnesses.”

Smith, from Washington state, said that while it was legitimate for Pelosi to retain the articles to try to gain leverage with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell ahead of a Senate trail, “at this point it doesn’t look like that is going to happen.”

“I think it is time to send impeachment to the Senate and let Mitch McConnell be responsible for the fairness of the trial,” Smith said. “He ultimately is.” -- Laura Litvan, Billy House

Some Democrats Ask Pelosi to Let Trial Begin (6 a.m.)

Several Democratic senators are pressuring Pelosi to transmit the impeachment articles and let the Senate trial begin, and one said the trial could start next week.

“If we’re going to do it, she should send them over. I don’t see what good delay does,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein, Pelosi’s fellow San Franciscan.

Pelosi said she is holding back the articles of impeachment adopted by the House last month until Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sets out his rules for the trial. But Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut suggested the House has little leverage in the matter.

“My expectation is that we’ll be able to start this trial next week,” Murphy said. “The leverage over Republicans exists in the votes we take inside the trial.”

Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia also said it’s time to send the articles to the Senate.

“Now that we have John Bolton saying he wants to testify, she’s accomplished something” by withholding the documents until now, Manchin said. Bolton, Trump’s former national security adviser, said Monday he would testify if subpoenaed by the Senate.

McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, dismissed Pelosi’s attempt to negotiate the terms of trial. “We will not cede our authority to try this impeachment,” he said. -- Billy House

Catch Up on Impeachment Coverage

Pelosi Gets Pressure From Democrats to End Impeachment Standoff

McConnell Says Republicans Have Votes to Set Trump Trial Terms

Bolton Roils Impeachment Trial, Saying He’d Speak If Subpoenaed

Senate Leaders Extend Impasse on Trump Impeachment Trial

Schumer Cites Email Revelations in Demand to Expand Trump Trial

Pelosi, McConnell Open 2020 With Stare-Down Over Trial for Trump

Key Events

The House impeachment resolution is H.Res. 755. The Intelligence Committee Democrats’ impeachment report is here.Gordon Sondland’s transcript is here and here; Kurt Volker’s transcript is here and here. Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch’s transcript is here and here; the transcript of Michael McKinley, former senior adviser to the secretary of State, is here. The transcript of David Holmes, a Foreign Service officer at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, is here.The transcript of William Taylor, the top U.S. envoy to Ukraine, is here and here. State Department official George Kent’s testimony is here and here. Testimony by Alexander Vindman can be found here, and the Fiona Hill transcript is here. Laura Cooper’s transcript is here; Christopher Anderson’s is here and Catherine Croft’s is here. Jennifer Williams’ transcript is here and Timothy Morrison’s is here. The Philip Reeker transcript is here. Mark Sandy’s is here.

--With assistance from Laura Litvan.

To contact the reporter on this story: Billy House in Washington at bhouse5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at jsobczyk@bloomberg.net, Laurie Asséo

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

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