Trump Attacks Pelosi in Fox Interview: Impeachment Update
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Trump Attacks Pelosi in Fox Interview: Impeachment Update


(Bloomberg) -- 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:

Trump Assails Pelosi Over Delay (10:42 p.m.)

Trump lambasted Pelosi over delaying sending articles of impeachment to the Senate, saying he wants to have a trial in that chamber. “She should have sent them a long time ago,” he said in an interview with Fox News’s Laura Ingraham on Friday. “It belittles the process.”

Trump called the speaker “a crazed lunatic” who will go down as the “one of the worst speakers in the history of our country.”

The president added that said he’d like to see witnesses testify in the Senate, including the whistle-blower who initially raised concerns about Trump’s call with Ukraine’s president, and former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

Trial May Start Next Week, Republicans Say (3:50 p.m.)

Senate Republicans anticipate that Trump’s impeachment trial will begin sometime next week, after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday she will send the two articles of impeachment “soon,” according to Senator John Thune, the No. 2 GOP leader.

“My guess is it will be probably middle of next week and then we’ll be underway,” the South Dakota Republican said in an interview. Still, he said Republican leaders haven’t heard directly from Pelosi’s office about when she will take that step to let the trial begin.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio said Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told fellow GOP senators at lunch Thursday that there was some talk that Pelosi might send the articles in time for a trial to start Monday.

McConnell told senators they didn’t have to worry about their schedules this weekend, but that next weekend might be a different story, said Rubio. The Florida senator said he plans to be back in town by Monday at 1 p.m. in case the trial starts.

Earlier Thursday, Pelosi insisted she wasn’t going to keep the articles much longer.

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

McConnell Joins Effort to Pressure Pelosi (3:33 p.m.)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has joined a GOP effort to pressure House Speaker Nancy Pelosi by letting the Senate dismiss impeachment articles for failure to prosecute if the House doesn’t send them over soon.

Republican Senator Josh Hawley’s proposed resolution so far is a largely symbolic effort because it would require a two-thirds vote to change Senate rules — or some form of a “nuclear” option by the Senate GOP that doesn’t appear to be likely.

No Democrats have signed on.

McConnell’s move comes as senators have become increasingly frustrated by Pelosi’s refusal to send the articles without a clear understanding of the rules the Senate will use to try the impeachment case. McConnell has said he would generally follow Clinton-era precedents, but he hasn’t provided his proposed rules in writing.

Trump Said He Doesn’t Plan to Block Bolton Testimony (12:09 p.m.)

Trump said he doesn’t plan to block his former top national security aide, John Bolton, from testifying at a Senate impeachment trial, but that he would need to protect his executive privilege.

He told reporters on Thursday that it’s up to the Senate to determine whether he should testify. “I don’t stop it,” Trump said.

But he said he needs to “protect presidential privilege” for himself and future presidents. He said he’d have to consult with lawyers about whether Bolton’s testimony would present a problem.

“When we start allowing national security advisers to just go up and say whatever they want to say, we can’t do that,” Trump said.

Bolton said Monday he would testify if subpoenaed.

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

Pelosi said she’ll probably send the impeachment articles to the Senate “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 said the House and Senate are at an “impasse because they won’t reveal the terms” of a Senate trial, which will affect how she selects the House managers. She said she’s trying to give the House impeachment managers “the best shot to find the truth.”

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

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.

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